Heimishe Groceries are Unsustainable

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    The story is about a store in Flatbush forced to close because they extended too much credit to customers.

    A few issues to think about:

    1] In most established cities there are large grocery stores that sell almost everything available at the small heimishe stores. Therefore, what benefit does the heimishe store offer the community?

    2] In regular grocery stores you have a few payment options. Telling a cashier to “put it on my bill” is not one of those options. Why don’t heimishe stores follow the successful path of entrepeneurship by charging for products sold to their customers?

    3] In the regular grocery stores with full kosher sections or Pomegranate there are more heimishe workers emnployed there than in any of the heimishe stores. Why is a heimishe store with two frum and seven Hispanic workers more heimish than a regular grocery store with seven full-time frum employees? Who deserves to be patronized more?

    4] In heimishe stores with the open credit system the regular paying shoppers are charged higher markups to recoup the open credit money the store owners have no way of collecting on. Is it yashrus for a store owner to do chessed on the backs of paying customers?

    I have my opinions. Let’s hear yours!


    A storeowner may charge whatever he sees fit, regardless of who it is that is paying thie bill upfront, and who is charging. If the customer is unhappy with this arrangement (the backs of the paying customers idea), then that customer is free to take his business to a less expensive store. There are many less expensive stores around.


    Don’t people use the small groceries for last minute items and go to a larger supermarkets for bigger shopping?


    There is still something nice about a heimishe store where you can trust them and get all of the products you want. For example, in a lot of smaller communities, the heimish store is the only place to buy chalov yisroel/pas yisroel products.

    In E”Y, I find the makolets to be just as reasonable for certain items as the big stores- Yeish.

    Either way, most ppl find that heimish stores are significantly over priced which makes it harder for ppl to support them.

    It is up to each community if it is worth it for them to support it enough for it to stay in business. If not, I do not think it is right when 1/2 the community gets together and tries to make the chain stores the “bad guys” for taking the smaller stores out of business and tries everyone not to shop there “for their own good.”

    A storeowner can charge what he wants… but then he can’t blame ppl for not giving him business.


    Speaktruth: We are in total agreement. The overpriced heimishe stores with Hispanic workers should not put people on guilt trips for patronizing stores with fresh products, lower prices, customer service, and allow returns for moldy, stale, or spoiled products!!


    There is no reason why Heimish stores can not be the most popular store around. Everything is about business sense. If you make your store the cleanest, most efficient, friendly, courteous, best service, best produce, best products, best choices, etc. Then you will be the one everyone runs to even if you are the most expensive. When I lived in BP and even Flatbush I ran to a very popular store on 18th Avenue because they always had the best of the best even though it was hard to park and I had other choices available. They had the nicest fruit and the freshest meats and bakery. One stop shopping was big pull.


    A storeowner may charge whatever he sees fit

    I’m certainly no Torah scholar, but isn’t there something in Shulchan Aruch about what a businessman may charge his customers?

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