SF Examiner Publishes My LTE On Grocery Stores Closings

Dear Everyone;

The SF Examiner had three inter-related articles Tuesday on the losses of major neighborhood grocery stores with Cala and Albertsons closing and only a couple new stores possibly opening. I wrote a free-market (no pun intended) LTE about this and how the supervisors anti-business attitudes and the permit bureaucracy had some bearing. The SF Examiner agreed and published.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian


Letters: July 27, 2006
The Examiner
San Francsico

Business of grocery stores

Your article on grocery stores in San Francisco reflected the tension between free-market economics and The City’s anti-business attitudes (“An evolving industry is shuttering,” July 25).

Grocery store net profits are 2 percent, leaving no room for management errors. Neighborhoods need accessible local grocery stores with inventory choices. Available space is at a premium in land-poor San Francisco. Taken together, these factors mean that stores that succeed here must be major national chains with economies of scale and high stock turnover, or smaller, high-end stores with larger margins.

Acting against this are The City’s anti-business attitudes. One site owner waits on a permit to start new store construction. A temporary site was lost due to conditional use permit processes. Supervisors introduce legislation barring grocery employee layoffs and request a store to stay open or find a replacement.

Get rid of the anti-business permit bureaucracy and legislation to see more grocery stores open, with more job opportunities.

Ron Getty
The City