Letters to the Editor

Blame Federal Way shoppers for market's closure | Letters

Like many in the community, I am sad — no, I'm angry — to see Metropolitan Market close. Shopping there was such a pleasure in so many ways. I will miss it more than I can say.

A previous letter to the editor by Neil Corbin (Dec. 12) decried the lack of good restaurants and new businesses with staying power in Federal Way. The writer seemed to place the blame for that lack on the Federal Way City Council, saying the city needs "people with vision...to be pro-active and drive this community."

Well, the reality is that retail lives and dies by two things: Demographics and sales. Despite apparently favorable demographic numbers that attracted Metropolitan Market in the first place, it turns out that Federal Way is a city whose population will support two Wal-Marts and a Winco, but won't support a first-class grocery like Metropolitan Market.

According to several of the market staff I talked with, the store never turned a profit in the entire five years of its existence. It lasted as long as it did being carried by the other stores in the Metropolitan chain. I was told they doubted the store would have survived even without the effects of the recession. The blame lies squarely with Federal Way shoppers who would rather support a mega-chain bent on world dominance than a locally-based chain with an interest in our community. No city council or mayor, with or without "vision," could have prevented the closure.

Until its shoppers care about more than getting the lowest possible price no matter what the consequence, Federal Way will not attract high-quality new businesses, just more and more discount stores. Let's just hope the classy Metropolitan Market isn't replaced with a tacky discount grocery.

Susan Coles, Federal Way

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