Market Not a ‘Pet Project’
I've read the article written by Jon Springer on Farm Fresh [read here]. Personally, I resent the comment about Farm Fresh's recently closed Market at Harbor Heights store, which read, “The store — described by local sources as a ‘pet project’ of Ron Dennis.” If your reporter had taken the time to contact me or any of the major resources in this market you would have found this comment inaccurate and very distorted.
During my 13-year tenure as President and COO of Farm Fresh I oversaw the rebuilding of a company from the ashes of bankruptcy to the premier banner within the Supervalu organization. Our record on sales and profits is unparalleled in Supervalu and perhaps ranks as one of the biggest comebacks of all time in this industry. No project was a “pet” project. Every store we built, remodeled or rebuilt was important as well as the impact they had on our overall results.
Additionally, in your article H. Blount Hunter was quoted as saying about Farm Fresh, “the Farm Fresh name doesn't resonate as local or indigenous,” and “if Ukrop's could lose its footing in Richmond, it could sure happen here, especially since Farm Fresh never had that kind of equity.”
Perhaps you should ask local government officials, business leaders and others in the community if Farm Fresh had any equity as being local or indigenous.
I worked for 13 years to provide a workplace atmosphere of pride and community concern, for nearly 5,000 associates who really cared about this community and the customers they served. The comments you printed were far from the reality of what Farm Fresh came to be in Hampton Roads. It is indeed unfortunate that you choose to take such a short-sighted view of what has been accomplished here.
Retail Consultants LLC