Thank God for tacky grocery stores | Federal Way letters
January 25, 2010 · 7:10 PM
This is in response to Susan Coles' Jan. 13 letter.
The fact of the matter is that this community cannot support high-end (as opposed to her "good") restaurants and Metropolitan Market types because the simple fact is that the money is not here.
The FederaL Way City Council spend beaucoup bucks a few years ago on a special consultant study to justify a push for a high-end lifestyle mall (which is now out of fashion due to the economy). The resulting facts showed that the average income in Federal Way was between $47,000 and $50,000 per year and that level of income couldn't support businesses such as Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc.
Ms. Coles' statement about shoppers caring more about "getting lower prices than attracting high-quality businesses" reflects an elitist arrogance about this community and the so-called "low quality discount stores" that operate here. Would she call Trader Joe's an inferior market just because their prices are more competitive and the quality comparable to Metropolitan Market?
Maybe if she were a senior citizen on a fixed income or a low- to middle-income family struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, she would understand why the average member of this community couldn't afford $6 to $8 per pound of hamburger and $5 per pound for tomatoes (not withstanding sales and "loss leaders"). It's wonderful for people who can afford those prices and I'm not begrudging them the opportunity to do so — that's the American way.
Ms. Coles revealed the truth behind her anger — demographics and sales. I think it is time the movers and shakers in this town realize that Federal Way is not Bellevue or Medina. People patronize the stores that meet their needs within their budgets, and retail sales and restaurants go where the demographics meet the profile of their particular business. That's why we have two Wal-Marts, a Target and all those "tacky discount grocery and retail stores."
Maybe Ms. Coles and those who share her feelings should think twice about insulting stores like Grocery Outlet and other discount retailers, and many of the chain and mom-and-pop restaurants that don't appeal to her sophisticated sensibilities. She should remember that the "average" citizens who comprise the majority in this town pay the taxes, which support the services she enjoys.
I suggest that if she isn't happy with the "low-brow middle-class" mentality of Federal Way, she consider relocating to an area that more adequately supports her economic and social values.
As for this fixed-income senior who shops at those "tacky discount grocery stores," I thank God they are here. Otherwise, I might be frequenting the free community suppers to supplement my budget.
Also, for Ms. Coles' information, I personally know that there are many people who shopped at Metropolitan Market who also shop at those "tacky discount grocery stores."
C. Koss, Federal Way