First, it’s not just about 7-Eleven. We’re trying to get the city to adopt a zoning amendment that would prevent corporate formula storefronts from opening unless the local community board allows it. It would cover anything from Duane Reade to Chase Bank to The Gap — any store that has 11 other clones in its corporate model.
The intention is not to eliminate all corporate formula stores. The zoning amendment would allow the local community to have a say on how many those stores should be in their neighborhood and where they should be located. After all, formula stores have a place and a useful function. But not everywhere and to the exclusion of everything else.
Other cities have such requirements. And it’s been successful. It slows down the commercial rent raises — chain stores can pay higher rents than mom and pops –and it resists corporate control, corporate growth, corporate management from afar of our labor, streets and neighborhoods.
NO 7-Eleven is not a panacea. It won’t prevent gentrification or upscaling of neighborhoods or lower tuition at CUNY or improve your schools or end war. But there are a lot of good reasons to resist corporate control, and if we don’t start to resist, corporate spread will not stop here. 7-Eleven is planning 100 more stores in the next two to three years. And that’s just 7-Eleven.
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1. 7-Eleven serves no need in the community.
The 7-Eleven chain and franchises do not offer anything to the neighborhood we don’t already have. There are three bodegas within a block’s distance of the new 7-Eleven, a fourth bodega one avenue to the east and a fifth bodega one avenue to the west. There are 17 bodegas in our 10003 zip code and 25 bodegas in the neighboring 10009 zip code. There is no need for 7-Eleven here!
2. 7-Eleven is invading the East Village and NYC as part of their aggressive expansion strategy.
There are currently 37 7-Elevens in Manhattan with an additional 100 locations planned to open by 2017. 7-Eleven has 10,300 stores in the United States [Source] and more outlets than any retailer in the world with 48,000 locations worldwide.
3. 7-Eleven will damage the local economy.
7-Eleven seeks to undermine the local market and damage the local economy by over-saturating our neighborhood in order to choke out local convenience stores, bodegas and delis. They want to convert existing bodegas into 7-Eleven franchises, making those franchises beholden to 7-Eleven’s corporate products and policies, eventually limiting our food choices. 7-Eleven is a self-serve chain store, providing minimal labor per storefront and reducing the number of available jobs in the neighborhood.
4. 7-Eleven is hypocritical when it comes to ‘healthy options.’
7-Eleven says they will offer fresh foods and healthy options but are not subject to the same restrictions as existing delis and bodegas – health inspections, displaying calorie counts, sanitary ratings. Amazingly, 7-Eleven was exempt from Bloomberg’s attempted ban on sodas over 16oz and would’ve been allowed to sell oversized Big Gulps and Slurpees, giving them an unfair advantage over local businesses.
5. 7-Eleven does not fit in with the East Village.
7-Eleven compromises the character, culture and authenticity of our community by attempting to homogenize the neighborhood.