There was some overnight renovation at the UWS Fairway Market last night.
I presume these were improvements to address customer concerns related to recent video of rats inside the store.
I’d have more than the one photo below, but there was a confrontation between a store employee and myself that resulted in him calling security and threatening to remove me from the premises.
As the sign above indicates, the construction was centered in the store’s deli department.
It’s hard to tell exactly what was being done, but all the shelving/storage units in the area had been removed (they were on the street outside) and I think new ones were being installed.
This is consistent with several tweets sent out on Thursday by @FairwayMarket, which stated the following:
“Spending hundreds of thousands on new doors, reinforced walls\ floors, new produce cases, & more.”
A Fairway executive reached out to me yesterday afternoon (unsolicited) to provide an update as to what the store is doing to address customer concerns.
I haven’t had a chance to connect with him yet, but I hope to have an update posted by Monday.
As for my little run-in with Fairway staff last night… In many ways it’s not worth discussing, but I’d also be remiss if I completely ignored it.
Long story short, I walked into the store last night with a friend who needed to buy some things. I noticed the sign and heard construction, snapped a couple of pics and looked around.
I had every intention of simply posting an update this morning along the lines of “Hey, look — Fairway is trying to address customer concerns and make things better. More to come.”
Unfortunately, one employee felt compelled aggressively tell me I couldn’t take photos and to say I’d have to leave the store if I continued. He also called over “security” — a beefy man in a black t-shirt — who got between me the remains of the deli counter, behind which stood the other employee.
It takes quite a bit to rile me up, but I was pretty pissed off by the whole situation and more or less dared them to attempt to remove me from the store.
Thankfully, calmer heads prevailed among all parties and nothing happened.
I realize employees at the store are probably on edge, but I felt it was an unnecessary — and unwarranted — response.
I’ll repeat here what I said to him last night:
“If you guys are trying to make improvements to the store to address customer concerns, you should be encouraging people to see those efforts — not threatening to kick them out.”
I was, and still am, a Fairway customer (although I’m not buying olives there any time soon).
I will not hold the entire chain responsible for the poorly chosen words of one employee who’s probably had a rough couple of days.
As I’ve written in previous posts, I actually feel bad for Fairway, as I think other grocery stores and markets deal with the same issues, even if they’re not necessarily caught on video.
While I’ve inadvertently kicked up a media shit-storm (see: NYT, WSJ, Daily News, NY Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, PIX, Fox, Gothamist, Huffington Post, NY Mag, Late Show With David Letterman, and others), I’ve tried my best to provide an unbiased take on the situation at the store and will continue to do so.
Like I said, someone reached out to me yesterday to discuss what steps are being taken and I hope to have an update on that in the coming days.
MyUpperWest has been ground-zero for Fairway’s PR nightmare (NOT my intention), but I am more than willing to give them a platform to reach out to customers and explain what they’re doing to address the situation.
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Tags: 2127 Broadway, Fairway, Fairway Market, Glenn Herman, Like No Other Market, New York City, NYC, photo, rat, rat in Fairway, rat in olive bar, ratgate, rats, rats in Fairway, Upper West Side, UWS, UWSrats, Video