Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7-11 Zombification

In another sad and stupid day for the Lower East Side, 7-11 has landed on Delancey Street near Norfolk.


Delancey 7-11, photo by Karen Gehres

This comes after another 7-11 opened earlier this month on East 14th Street. Dayenu! Before that, another opened on St. Mark's Place. Dayenu! And before that, another opened on Bowery. Dayenu!

And that's just the East Village/Lower East Side.

7-11 has made it clear that they've come to New York City to murder our local bodegas and corner grocery stores. They call it the Business Conversion Program, which sounds rather sinister because it is rather sinister. As New York magazine reported, the program's "stated goal is to entice mom-and-pop shops into becoming 7-Elevens."

Sounds like quasi-voluntary zombification, part of the massive chain takeover of the city that turns real businesses into dead-eyed clones.


8th and 25th, photo by Thomas Rinaldi

On 8th Avenue at 25th Street this week, yet another 7-11 has plunked itself down--this one right next to a mom-and-pop corner grocery store, Kyung's Gourmet Foods. The spot used to be something needed--a laundromat.

The sign in the window says: "Franchise This Store." It's a 7-11 without an owner. They're just sticking them on our streets and letting them sit empty until someone dials the number or texts the word "Franchise" to the head office.

Are they trying to lure Kyung into the Conversion Program? It looks like Kyung has been given just two choices: Convert or die.


8th and 25th, photo by Thomas Rinaldi

17 comments:

JAZ said...

I'd rather see squeegee men back on Delancey than a fucking 7-11.

The Big Cupcake gets even softer; is that miniature New York ready yet? I think I wanna try to squeeze myself in.

Little Earthquake said...

Are there any published studies on the effects of chain stores on NYC-based shops? I'd be interested in reading one.

As repugnant as the 7/11 explosion is, I'd like to see what precedents we have. Off the top of my head I know that McDonald's didn't kill the burger joint, and Sbarro didn't wipe out pizzerias. Starbucks certainly hasn't killed local cafes.

I predict the 7-11s will do as all chains do: Entrench themselves, overextend, wear out welcome, and retreat. They're probably here to stay, but they'll eventually just become part of the background.

Nemo said...

Starbucks HAS killed the local cafes.

Brendan said...

No amount of hand-wringing or boycotting will fight this. The only way is a tax incentive to remain independent (or I suppose you could call it a tax penalty for going franchise). I wonder how receptive New Yorkers would be to this.

Anonymous said...

A bit of bright news - There's a 7-11 and a Dunkin Donuts that opened up near each other in Chinatown recently, and all the cops and workers still go to the newsstand, the coffee cart, and Best Health Deli.

Anonymous said...

Dayenu indeed!!!!

Anonymous said...

There's a 7-11 on 20th and third avenue that's been open for a year or two. It opened next to a corner newsstand that's been around for at least the 15 years I've been in the neighborhood. The corner newsstand people told me they are in danger of closing soon because of the damage of the other place. (The Daily News did an article about it, I think). The 7-11's impact on the hood has been enough that the longtime local korean bodega has taken to running special promotions to try and keep its customers.

Anonymous said...

Those bastards. Has anyone noticed the smell outside a 7-11? That revolting warmed-up movie theater hot-dog aroma mixed with the disgusting evaporated coffee smell? They vent it directly to the street because it announces the presence of a 7-11 for fifty yards in every direction.

Anonymous said...

All but confirmed that a new 7-11 is going into 813 Broadway between 11th and 12th Streets. http://e1213ba.blogspot.com/2012/07/neighborhood-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.html

Anonymous said...

i was in a 7/11 today, in mexico. freezing airconditioner. i will never walk around w/out my water again. what a horrid place.

laura said...

ok lets vote. which is more ugly & repulsive? mc donalds, kentucky fried, 7/11, walmart?? (youll see its next, i think they are all related). so much for luxury living.

Anonymous said...

In an ultracapitalist world, we have to accept 7-11 but are not forced to use it.
I live around the corner and plan on supporting Kyung.

For the trivia fans, the corner, with Kyungs name and all in the background, was featured in the movie 'Lulu on the bridge', dir. by Paul Auster, with Mira Sorvino and Harvey Keitel.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like 7-11s Slurpees, so sue me. Until those Slurpee machines are patent-free or whatever, I'll welcome the 7-11s in. That doesn't mean I'd eat any of that nasty shit they serve. I'll still go to the bodegas for rat-nibbled chicken parms.

burd said...

Yeah not jumping on the 7-11 hate, cheap snacks and no credit/debit card minimum on purchases are some services this neighborhood lacks. Don't go there if you don't want to, but banning or restricting franchises seems a little extreme.

laura said...

im back to the 7/11 post, & back visiting mexico. the corn fields & horse fields were distroyed around 8 yrs ago. filthy vacant lots stand in their place. they are building a 7/11 on the largest lot. it will be "open all night"- the 5th one w/in a 2 mile stretch. same scenario: 7/11, dominos, fried chicken, 7/11. dominos, fried chicken, mac donalds. i can understand this in ignorant non protected developing countries, but in MANHATTAN? sickening. this is not about bloomberg, this is bigger than that. bigger than you need to know.

David Garfinkel said...

I live on 25th and have been going to Kyung's for 20 years, although I'll admit the Whole Foods suits my general needs a lot more than Kyung's, but still, I'll miss them. They know me. I think the things I hate the most about the 7-11's are the way they look, how bright they are, and how it just makes all of new york look kind of the same. I feel the same about Duane Reed with their bright red signs. No class, no character, just sell, sell, sell. Someone please buy me out of my lease. I'm ready for Portland.

David Garfinkel said...

7-11, duane reed, starbucks, it's all so ugly and average. lower manhattan is turning into a cesspool of mediocrity.