Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Plea For Compassion And Better Prices To Gristedes Owner John Catsimatidis From A Roosevelt Island Resident - Mr. C Says We Will Like The New Renovated Supermarket When Finished In A Few Weeks

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Renovations

Roosevelt Island resident Nina Lubin shares this plea she sent to Roosevelt Island Gristedes

 owner John Catsimatidis earlier today regarding ongoing renovations

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Renovations

and pricing at our local supermarket. From Ms. Lubin:
Good Morning Mr. C.

Or perhaps not.

I came to your construction site -- oops, I mean the Roosevelt Island Gristedes -- at 5 pm last night. The store remains one big, hot mess.

At the front, near the pharmacy, was an open, unsecured construction area with no barricades, tape, or any markings to prevent someone from walking or tripping. The floor at the pharmacy remains uneven and bumpy, and someone could easily trip or fall -- please remember we are an Island of people with many motor disabilities and challenges.

The relocated meat and poultry area could only be reached by walking past open ladders with no protections, and again, active construction with dust and debris unprotected by any plastic or vinyl sheeting. The temperature in the relocated poultry case was not cold enough to safely store anything perishable (and was reported to one of the managers).

We are now in the 3rd or 4th month of being held captive by your senior staff and disorganized demolition and construction crew and it is unfair and not safe for the staff and your customers.

Really, Mr. C, have a little compassion for us on Roosevelt Island. Because this morning, it sure seems like you have more compassion for the folks in Kips Bay and on the Upper East Side than for us Islanders who have few choices. With your big full page ad in today's New York Post, declaring WAR ON INFLATION, it is clear that you are really declaring war on the new Fairway store on East 30th Street and 2nd Avenue, conveniently located in between two of your stores, in the midst of a big residential neighborhood and 3 major hospitals, as well as the Fairway on E.86th Street. Some of those prices in that ad are the same prices we on Roosevelt Island have been hoping for for many years and are still waiting:

Corn Flakes - $ 1.49 for 18 oz
Cheerios - $2.99
Bumble Bee Solid White Tuna - $ 5 for 4 cans
Chicken Cutlets - $ 1.99 / lb

A start -- with a $ 5 off coupon -- but only for the 3 stores in in Manhattan in direct competition with Fairway. Unfair to us, who should be getting some price breaks while our store is a construction site and for many the only place we can shop.

If you really are the businessman you claim to be, if you are thinking about running for Mayor, if you really want to declare war on inflation, if you really want to not further alienate or aggravate the Roosevelt Island residents, show us a little concern and favoritism and get the work done already, lower some prices, and work to get us back in the store.
Mr. Catsimatidis replied:
You will Have a New store in a Few weeks that we will all be Proud of
A corporate Gristedes official told me that the renovations should be completed by middle of February.


GristedesIsTheWorst said...

Having recently been to Publix down in Florida lately, it's a reminder how bad Gristedes is operated. Publix has very friendly staff, low prices and a clean store. Their deals on cereal are $2-3 when Gristedes charges $6-7.

It's a shame how bad this store is allowed to be ran. The staff is unaware how bad they lack customer service. I wish they had self check out so I wouldn't have to deal with them.

Mr C needs to venture into a Publix to see how a grocery store should be run. A store that respects its customers. The Gristedes on Roosevelt Island is the dirtiest and most unfriendly store I have ever stepped foot in. Until they decide to train their staff and lower prices, I will continue to go to other boroughs to grocery shop.

rilander said...

The prices are disgusting, produce is not protected from debris (and maybe even asbestos considering the age of the store), the workers don't know what they are doing. I wish that Gristedes would pull out: we need a real supermarket and now that we have over 12,000 people we should not be held hostage by this corrupt owner who is probably using it as a tax shelter. We should tell him to pull out now...I hope Kramer from HR can find a replacement who will offer to buy out the lease this jerk has.

joe carbo said...

i never shop there. the very few times i have been forced to go in there for something. the price is so insulting. that i walk out and walk over the bridge to trade fai

CheshireKitty said...

Amen Joe. It's a frightening supermarket - more so with the construction debris. Shouldn't the City have issued a citation to Gristede's for the way the renovation was done - with no protection for the employees or customers? Usually a plastic sheet is draped over a construction area to shield the area that is still open to the public from dust/particles etc. Especially if there are food products directly beneath the work going on. Alternatively, Catsimatides could have simply closed the store for a few weeks for the renovation. I doubt if I will ever shop there regularly - since I long ago switched to Costco's & Pathmark (when there was still a nearby Pathmark) for obvious reasons. For me, it could be useful in case of an "emergency", in case I run out of something between trips to Costco's. Other Islanders unfortunately have no choice but to shop at Gristedes. Yet Gristedes is a horror to shop in - there's inevitably price discrepancies for example. And the prices are out of line to begin with. Catsimatides is taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition to his store on RI. This is why most RI-ers have turned away from shopping there. Maybe the main reason no-one goes there anymore unless they have to.

Westviewer said...

Dairy products have never been handled properly at Gristede's

Westviewer said...

I just came from Gristede's and saw that the organic milk is in the case, separated by a case holding jello and puddings and the like.

Denise Shull said...

I suspect that in the end Mr. C doesn't see the need - as the competition isn't there. We, like many here, only go in "emergencies". Our grocery money goes mostly to Fresh Direct and a bit to Whole Foods. If you happen to see us in there, it is only because we starting cooking something and realized we were missing something!

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