Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Volume 2, Number 23: Farmer Jack Is History

(Note: This is a re-posting of an entry I made in July 2007 on a Yahoo! GeoCities blog.)

So long, Farmer Jack... as I said in a previous entry, I won't miss that chain the way I miss Great Scott!, but the diminished competition could hurt local consumers. Kroger has to be absolutely delighted that Michigan's second-biggest grocery store chain is gone for good.

I also mentioned in a previous entry that the 12 Mile/Campbell store will go to Hollywood (a small chain that I jokingly call Anubis), and the 9 Mile/John R is one of 20 stores that Kroger acquired (it will reopen later this month, and I'm not surprised that it will be one of the last stores to reopen because that store was a bleeping dump the one time I shopped there in July 2000, so I imagine it needs more time to be cleaned up).

What I neglected to mention is that the third-closest Farmer Jack to me--the one on 10 Mile and Coolidge in Oak Park--has been purchased by an as-yet unnamed "independent grocer." This store is noteworthy because, years ago, it was a Dexter Davison store, which meant that it sold all kinds of kosher products, especially kosher meat and poultry. At the time, Oak Park had a far greater Jewish population than it does today, so when the Dexter Davison store was sold and became a Farmer Jack, one of the conditions Farmer Jack had to meet was that it continue selling a variety of kosher products, and it did just that. Will this "independent grocer" be subject to the same condition? I hope so because otherwise, items like kishke and Best's Kosher Breakfast Beef will be even harder to come by than they already have been. (On an unrelated note, if this "independent grocer" will double coupons up to $1.00 instead of the usual 50 cents, I will consider shopping at that store, even if it is in Oak Park.)

Also, the sale of Farmer Jack's two Detroit locations means that Detroit has become the only major American city whose city limits do not contain a supermarket from a major chain. The other big chains had already fled to the suburbs years ago, but Farmer Jack, to its credit, tried to stay in Detroit and even built a store in Highland Park (that location, too, was sold to another "independent grocer" a couple of years ago). On the bright side, at least those two locations won't be closing. If they had, anyone who lived near those stores but didn't have a car (and thus depended heavily on such convenient locations) might have found themselves in a lurch.

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