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2001-05-06
Warwick, NY. Memorial Day Boycott of CVS

At least nine communities in New York and Connecticut are organizing a Memorial Day weekend boycott of CVS drug stores to protest the company's takover of "dead" Grand Union grocery stores. Local residents in the Connecticut town of Ridgefield, plus the New York communities of Woodstock, Larchmont, Croton, Hopewell Junction, Goshen, Greenwood Lake, Rhinebeck, and Warwick, are asking shoppers to steer away from CVS chain stores. "They are gobbling up precious property in the heart of small town America, where food stores used to be," the residents say. The protest stems from a land transaction arranged by a company called C&S Distributors, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont. C&S controls properties vacated by Grand Union grocery stores. Instead of leasing these sites to another grocery store, C&S has apparently made a deal with the CVS "convenience" store chain to locate in the dead Grand Union sites. "Despite our protests and persistent pleas to the company for returning our much-needed food markets," residents say, "CVS is still bullying their way into each and every one of our hamlets with their enormous corporate power. To put it simply: none of our towns want them. None of our towns needs them. We need real food, not drugs, beauty supplies, or laxatives." The alert to the 9 communities notes that its time to "show CVS that small town America is alive and well, and mad as hell." The groups felt Memorial Day was an appropriate backdrop for a 3 day boycott of CVS, because "the corporate assault on the quality of life in our small towns is a very real threat to the well-being of this country. There is a war on small-town America." The boycott is centered in the Hudson region of New York, and citizens argue that these communities need grocery stores, not convenience/drug stores. Residents are concerned that C&S, since it is in the grocery distribution business, is making decisions about land use that may consolidate market power in the hands of fewer and fewer grocery chains, which will have a negative impact on food prices in the region. CVS, which is not a grocery competitor, would be a 'safer" tenant for these small town locations, than another grocery store. Consumers, on the other hand, want a diverse marketplace, and worry that the loss of Grand Union stores and no food store replacement, will only have a negative impact on competition in the region.

What you can do: For more information about the May 26 to May 28 boycott of CVS, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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