Many big box retailers leave “dark stores” behind them when they prematurely close one unit, and move to a bigger one. Wal-Mart has 400 “dark stores” they have left behind — but other companies have similar corporate policies. Often these empty stores have convenants in their deeds that prevent use by a competitor. Here is a release from people in Ohio about a boycott of the Giant Eagle grocery chain over a store they left empty: “What happens to a neighborhood when the anchor tenant of a shopping center moves and keeps their space dark? You can see the disastrous results all over town. The big corporations, which own these stores would rather pay the lease on the empty property than to allow a competitor to use it. The other stores in the community lose business and then close, creating blight and financial
hardship for residents, school districts, and governments.Giant Eagle is one of these predatory corporations. In Lorain, they built a new store in upscale Amherst, and with 10-years remaining on their lease on the store in downtown Lorain, they closed it – the only full service grocery store in the city of Lorain. Their condition for subleasing the store is paying them crippling fees, so no other store can
use the space. In the case of Lorain there is a chain, Apples, which would like to open in that building but cannot
because of Giant Eagle’s conditions.What should a citizen who cares about the community do in response to this kind of tactic? What Americans have always done – we get together and fix it. NOAH (Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope) is a coalition of religious congregations, which is leading this effort. We
have held meetings, including with the CEO of Giant Eagle, we have written thousands of postcards, made innumerable
calls, held news conferences – all to no avail. What next? We are asking people who care about their communities,
particularly aging ones, to stop shopping at Giant Eagle and let them know why you are not shopping there.
Cut up your Advantage card and mail it to David Shapiro, CEO, Giant Eagle, 101 Kappa Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. Fax a letter and a Xeroxed copy of your cut card to 412/963-3533
Go to the customer service department at your Giant Eagle store, ask for the manager, and tell this person that you
will not be shopping there until a grocery store is opened in Lorain. Tell your friends and neighbors to join the boycott till Giant Eagle sees the light.
For more information, contact NOAH at 216/398-0374.