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Here’s some puzzling news: The Yes! Organic Market in Fairlawn that was set to close this month amid more than two years of heavy losses will remain open under a new name, “Healthy Gourmet Market.”
According to the Post‘s Jonathan O’Connell, Yes! owner Gary Cha was persuaded by conversations with neighbors, city officials, and his landlord to stay in business, but to rename the store to combat perceptions of high prices and to add more mainstream products.
I wish Cha the best—-he has the neighborhood’s interests at heart, and lord knows the area could use all the supermarkets it can get—-but this seems like a fool’s errand. The store’s two fatal flaws are its difficult-to-access location and its expensive reputation. Well, the location’s staying the same, on a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue SE where turns are nearly impossible. And adding a few cheaper products won’t change the perception issue, given that his offerings were already relatively inexpensive—-much more so than at other Yes! stores. Nor will the name; if you’re aiming to distance yourself from Yes!’s reputation, why on earth would you call your store “Healthy Gourmet Market?”
Again, I hope I’m wrong. But I’m afraid we might be having this same conversation again in a few months.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery