About a third of the people we spoke to were against the idea of a New Seasons store, and felt like it would adversely affect business at People's. Another third were in favor of the store because they wouldn't have to drive (or in one instance bike) as far to go to both places. Another third felt like People's would be unaffected or that trying to resist New Seasons would be be fruitless. Everyone I personally spoke to was against the idea of New Seasons tearing down a house as part of their building plans, especially when they heard that the current plan puts the dumpsters there, right next to a convent.
For about half the people I spoke to, New Seasons plans were news. "Fuckers!" one customer said. Many shook their heads or muttered under their breath. "Everytime someone finds a way of making a dollar," one farmer said, "another five try to take it away!" This farmer felt that a New Seasons store would spell the end for People's. Conversely, another farmer felt like the store would bring more business to the Wednesday market and thus give him more business.
One thing we found when researching the issue of co-ops vs. corporate whole foods stores was an article in "Cooperative Grocer" magazine, which is a monthly trade paper for U.S. co-ops. In a 1999 article, the magazine predicted that within 10 years "most" co-ops could be driven out of businesses by their larger, corporate competitors. For those who doubted that New Seasons would have an affect on People's, this tidbit was food for thought.. Indeed, it is too often true that a big fish swallows up the little ones. The result is not a competitive society where the best people or companies win, but a cut-throat, greed-driven one in which those with the most cash overcome everything else and the result is a monopoly where no one has any real choices anymore.
One customer who was in favor of the New Seasons store was nonetheless happy to see us out there flyering. "It's good for people to be discussing this. I'm glad you're distributing this information." Others, with different, varying opinions on the issue also expressed gratitude. Some also said they wanted to help out how they could, which is great because this campaign is brand new.
For more information, and for flyers, etc., please visit http://www.NoNewSeasons.org. We're still working on this website, so please don't write back with "this sucks!" We're working on it, and it'll soon be better. Our budget is not as high as New Seasons' is!