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Best Quality: Cub promises

Cub Foods, the Twin Cities based food retail giant, has over the last two decades carved out a sizable slice in the grocery business market share by meeting consumer demand throughout their 110 stores in nine states. Shoppers in North Minneapolis, who say they are weary of their preferences being ignored by retailers, say they are expecting highest quality products and service from the new Cub Foods store which will open in June this year. Cub Foods, the Twin Cities based food retail giant, has over the last two decades carved out a sizable slice in the grocery business market share by meeting consumer demand throughout their 110 stores in nine states. Shoppers in North Minneapolis, who say they are weary of their preferences being ignored by retailers, say they are expecting highest quality products and service from the new Cub Foods store which will open in June this year.

"Consumers here want to be treated like others anywhere else," said Andrea Jenkins, director of development, Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC) in an interview with Insight News last Thursday.

NRRC convened a meeting last Wednesday between the management of Cub Foods and residents in the community at Franklin Middle School. The meeting was called to review a request by the supermarket chain to the Minneapolis City Council for permission to run a 24-hour, full service supermarket at 701 Broadway Avenue.

Cub Foods acquired the building which once housed a Target store at that location in mid 2003.

Target had reported that their store consistently racked up losses over the last 10 years and was forced to close as a result. But some community leaders alleged that the store was poorly managed and consumers’ preferences were not considered.

"Preset choices were made about what they think that we would want," said one resident in a heated debate at a community forum shortly after Target announced their exit. "People have a perception about our community about what we want and what we care about and what kind of commitment we are willing to have.

"If the store (701 W. Broadway) was at the same quality as other Target stores, people would not have been leaving the area to go to other Target stores elsewhere," he noted.

But Jenkins, while not commenting on the bad blood that strained relations between the community and the former owners of the 701 West Broadway property, reiterated that consumers "expect to be respected and want assurance of a high level of customer service."

And according to Ed Anderson, the manager for the new Cub Foods store, "Good service is a promise to keep."

The 20 odd-years experienced supermarket executive told this newspaper that while "we aim to meet the needs of all the customers, we are also going after the new arrivals of the area, especially the Hispanic and Somali buyers – but the exotic needs of other diverse groups will also be given priority."

Anderson also explained that the new facility will house a police outpost, equipped with computers and seating accommodation for the law enforcement officers in addition to a loss prevention unit in order to enhance the security of shoppers and prevent pilfering.

The beefing up of security in the area of the 701 Broadway store has emerged out of recommendations made by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The police noted that the West Broadway area has had many problems late at night with groups congregating and creating a nuisance problem in the neighborhood. Officer Judy Perry, in her report, indicated that when the Citgo gas station and convenience store was allowed to operate a 24-hour facility at 626 West Broadway, some 300 calls for police assistance were generated in 2000 and 2001.

And after the conditional use permit was withdrawn in 2002, calls for police aid dropped to 97. In 2003 the numbers of calls were further reduced to 50.

Officer Perry also noted that when Target was "running the (701 Broadway) store there were 237 calls for service in 2000, two hundred in 2001 and 183 in 2002. In 2003 there were 75 calls between January and May 29 and an additional 46 calls on May 30."

Because of the high need for policing in the vicin

January 12, 2004
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