This isn’t the first report of bad news for Fairway. Crain’s reported in January that falling share prices were hurting the Tri-State grocery (there are 15 Fairway Markets in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). Now, its struggles may be because Whole Foods Market is opening stores nearby.
Crain’s observed that sales at Fairway’s Upper East Side location fell 15 percent in February after Whole Foods opened nearby. There were similar results when Whole Foods opened in Gowanus, Brooklyn, near the Fairway in Red Hook. Overall sales dropped 5.3 percent at the end of the second quarter.
Of course, Whole Foods is not the only competition for Fairway, whose first store opened in 1954 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is best known for offering hard-to-find imported products. Trader Joe’s and Wegmans are also opening more stores in New York City.
Fairway’s is trying to make a comeback by offering promotions for customers who provide their mobile numbers.