New Fairway Owners Say Technological ‘Bumps’ Will Be Fixed

By Alex Israel

Fairway switched to new ownership this week, and any glitches that customers may have experienced have to do with the switchover, not any new policies, a representative from Village Super Markets said.

“It’s been a rolling transition,” Kimberly Shelton, Director of Village’s New York Division, told WSR. The New York Division is overseeing the transitions at five Fairway locations, in Pelham, Kip’s Bay, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Chelsea. “We had to convert the front-end systems. We had done it in Chelsea a couple of days ago and it was smooth, but we hit a few bumps yesterday with technology,” she said about tipsters’ experiences at the 74th and Broadway location — which included trouble using contactless payments, among other issues.

“Anything that happened is not an ongoing policy. It was just a technical issue,” Shelton said, confirming that reports of the location not accepting coupons or payments via the app and SNAP were an “unfortunate” result of the conversion, and would not be the norm moving forward. “Fairway will stay Fairway,” added Shelton.

Shelton also explained the division’s plans to respond to the pandemic. “Our main initiatives over the next couple weeks really don’t have to do with price or promotion—but putting in place the protections to keep our customers and our associates safe during the COVID crisis,” she said, outlining some of the safety methods, including occupancy limitations, additional store cleanings, masks, and social distancing, that readers can expect to see as the New York locations make the transition.

FOOD, NEWS | 59 comments | permalink
    1. Madelaine Reuter says:

      ‘Ode to the very much missed garlic, shallot, and onion bins’…….You all seem to ‘kvetch’ for one reason or another regarding Fairway’s new ownership. What…terribly spoiled, selfish and utterly entitled UWS RESIDENTS YOU SOUND LIKE!!! Try moving away from all the incredible ‘items’ available ‘at your command’….to another FOOD DESERT…No, not Harlem, but rather the visually exquisite and utterly beau colic northwestern reaches of Mass. The most esteemed Williams College and it’s extensive Library are available to you…..BUT try and find a decent Kosher pickle, a simple slice of fresh smoked salmon, or even the totally non-existent delight of a warm spinach kinisk? SO STOP BEEFING ABOUT ALL OF FAIRWAYS CHANGES…. And appreciate the most simple of delights you still have readily available to you.

      • Lady Di says:

        Madelaine – couldn’t agree more !! jeez, folks – these are not life or death issues. I’ve lived in NYC all my life and things change, like it or not. Learning how to adapt and being glad for what you do have, especially now, is what is important for happiness – not your precious “oj”, elephant garlic or what have you. Give these new owners a chance for gods sake – we ARE in the middle of a crisis affecting every aspect of normal life.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          it’s sickening how some people complain about changes to Fairway when there are now people in the arts and graduate students who are going to food banks because they have no money. to complain non-stop about this issue I think is a form of ugliness and self-pitying that might be related to jealousy of their wealthy neighbors they know who have left to the Hamptons or elsewhere and they feel “poor” to be stuck in the city.

          • Ed says:

            …or it might not. Pettiness can be found across all income strata.

            • Rodger Lodger says:

              You’re all overlooking the extreme sensitivity of UWSers. They feel more, they suffer more, than ordinary people.

            • West90thstreetJeff says:

              Roger, I got such a kick out of your comment. Thanks for the laugh. We’re squirreled away upstate in the middle of a snow squall and you provided much needed levity.

      • Larry K says:

        Move out of the UWS at your own peril! Trade a piece of a delicacy for a piece of quiet.

      • Larry says:

        It’s a question of sensible, comparative shopping, not kvetching. Why pay $1.25 for a lemon at Fairway, when you can get a lemon for 39 cents at Trader Joe or 50 cents at Jubilee?

        The decent kosher pickle and simple slice of smoked salmon you crave are easily and better purchased at Zabar’s. And Zabar’s prices and quality are generally better than Fairway’s.

    2. cjc says:

      So, what’s going on with the Fairway in West Harlem? That’s not one of the ones on the list.

    3. Roberta Tepel says:

      Shopped 74th st. Fairway 5/8/20 Everyday of my life I’ve had Fairway fresh squeezed orange juice. There isn’t any other juice like it in the entire city. But today the juice was gone. The worker stocking the shelves said they weren’t getting Fairway fresh squeezed anymore. Bring it back!!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Whole Foods has their own brand “365” of both organic and regular fresh squeezed orange juice. Both delicious and lowest priced fresh squeezed OJ I’ve seen.

      • Rodger Lodger says:

        Buy oranges, remove the pulp (easy), and blend it alone or with banana, etc. Buying squeezed juice you’ve been throwing away the healthiest part of the orange — the fiber. There is no fiber in the juice you buy.

        • Lenore says:

          Or even better, EAT the whole orange or the banana, that’s the best! Coffee and whole orange, high point of my day!

          • MAD says:

            Agree completely! A nice, fresh orange that you peel and eat right away is a wonderful source of vitamin C and some fiber. Also much cheaper. Get the navel variety and you don’t even have to fuss with the pips.

      • Stuart says:

        Zabars still has the tastiest fresh squeezed orange juice

    4. Michael Muentz says:

      The online ordering website was completely shutdown.
      Instacart even stated that there was no Fairway in my Neighborhood.
      Oh Really. ??? I live on W.
      I think you are in my neighborhood. No?.
      Fix it. Or sell the store to somebody else who can manage it.
      And don’t make promises you can’t keep.
      Have I made myself clear.?
      Village supermarket. Or Shoprite?
      Or whatever your name is?

    5. BJK says:

      I just returned from Fairway (6am Saturday morning) and check-out was contactless and fine. There also seemed to be a little more selection on the shelves than in prior weeks.

    6. Boris says:

      I hope many of you constant kvetchers shop elsewhere and stay away from Fairway. My shopping experience will definitely improve.

    7. Etan says:

      I moved to Los Angeles last year because you kvetchers, enough already! I can only imagine the PTSD you would all get if Barney Greengrass changed at all, the horror!

      • JPUWS says:

        Hilarious that you are kvetching about the kvetching!

      • George T Gilbert says:

        NYC (Especially Manhattan) food shopping options are limited – there are no supermarkets like in the suburbs, LI, NJ or the rest of the country plus the prices are insane here so when a market that had fresh food selections on a daily basis changes, it makes it harder to find food that is not processed or prepackaged unless one has the ability to go around the city to small shops that are now all closed. this isn’t whining and I have massive empathy for people who are out of work and can’t afford to go to the market or whose markets are closed and have to wait in food lines for food. the blame rests with the Federal government for complete lack of preparedness not the people.

    8. sally says:

      The store needs CLEANING from floor to ceiling, shelves, counters etc.

      • sally says:

        why don’t they close ta day or two o clean like Trader Joe’s did.
        Also time to get it together.

    9. George T Gilbert says:

      Major stock problems at UWS fairway on fresh and fairway branded item! no fresh or packaged mozzarella at all today – astonishing since they probably sold anywhere between 50-100 pounds a day of their fresh mozzarella and now there is not even packaged name brand mozzarella there!!!!! the old fairway is very sadly gone and that leaves a massive food crater on the west side 🙁

      • Dana Reimer says:

        Mr. Gilbert: Fairway isn’t Fairway anymore. It hasn’t been since the original owners sold out to venture capitalists. And if not being able to find mozzarella is the worst thing that happens to you this week then consider counting your blessings. Everything changes, even Fairway. I still miss the motzah ball soup from Gitlitz (formerly of W 77th and B’way) and they’ve been gone since the mid-70s. We’ll all adapt and either continue to go to the latest iteration of Fairway or we won’t. I’m just thankful it’s there and open when I need it. And those who are denigrating anxious and fearful people for complaining/kvetching are being snide and unkind. Many of us are seeing our worlds slowly fall apart. Things we’ve taken for granted and depended on for years, maybe generations, are gone maybe never to return. So it’s mozzarella for one person and the jugs of olives for another. Let’s all be kind and patient with each other. Some of us are in mourning.

    10. Fernet says:

      The food is terrible, and the portions are so small!

    11. Kiko Man says:

      Be nice, folks. Have you learned anything from being quarantined? The world has changed. Let’s reset our attitudes and be more thankful.

    12. marciak says:

      It was suddenly clear “Fairway (74th)” isn’t Fairway, by the CLUSTERS of laborers cluttering intersections in the store — nobody was monitoring them for numbers or distancing. I also, as I waited to pay,heard right behind me a desperately pleading customer telling an unfamiliar looking mgr how she struggled to get down there in time because it was the last day for her coupon; the mgr. flatly argued that the offer ended in the middle of the day,and it isn’t Fairway’s anymore. Rest in peace, real FAIRWAY; others will replace this fraud.

    13. Wendy says:

      The staff should be wearing their mask at all times something that I do not see when I go there. If you mention something to them they laugh it off too many young people working there that really don’t care about the seniors or probably their own family for that matter.

    14. UWSmaven says:

      Fresh orange juice and fresh mozzarella temporarily out of stock in an ownership change, amid 75,000 dead and 20% unemployment. Who says UWS residents are entitled and tone deaf?

    15. Mary Ann says:

      I’m sorry to hear of the problem for all during this transition which will be fixed going forward by the new owners need to fix one of the biggest problems the 74t St store has and that is its Customer Service. Not all but 99% of the cashiers are the rudest people in any service organization. Even before Covid 19, they ignore you, do not Say Hello, do not speak to you, the customer, but will speak to other cashiers while waiting on you and don’t know enough to to say ThankYou. They have a job because customers come to the store.
      I will say that most of the people who are stocking are most polite and helpful to the point of walking you to an item you can’t find. Before sheltering when we had deliveries to our door, the delivery men would tell you how many complaints they heard from customers about the cashiers and were amazed themselves at the way customers were treated.
      I was told by a former cashier that there was essentially no training. Please, new owners, address this immediate problem

      • David says:

        In SW Michigan, every cashier wants to have a conversation, whether they know you or not. My Manhattan-raised son asked “What’s wrong with them?” This is why I use a self checkout lane whenever possible. My motto is “shop, and get the hell out”.

        • JEC says:

          I truly agree with you. The cashiers are rushing, do not respond to conversation and are generally rude.

    16. Mark Nicolson says:

      A half-gallon of D2 Milk just went from $4.65 to $6.75… Better option elsewhere… New Yorkers are extremely pragmatic. We want quality at a fair price. It looks like that will not be what the new Fairway is about. Time will tell…

    17. Francesca says:

      Totally needed! Thanks for the update. ‘Tilmthen, it’s not for older folks or many others.

    18. Robynn Delin says:

      I will be very curious to see if sage guards for Covid are put in place. It has been very concerning to see lines with no distancing and people shopping on top of each other. I have been using the app which allows me to scan my items as I shop and scan a final checkout code- avoiding all lines.

    19. Jim C. says:

      So Harlem must be definitely closing then. Sad.

    20. Ellie says:

      Thank u for letting us know this.
      I am able to get online today to order.
      I wasn’t able to get on line for the past few days and was going to order from another supermarket.
      I read the West side rag and they explained what the problem was.
      They saved your customers from moving to other stores.

    21. Mary C says:

      I shop at the West 125th Street for countless years, however the last few time have left a bad taste in my mouth, because it appears that the meat and salads already packed is old but they have changed the dates to reflect a current date but when you attempt to eat the meat or salads it has a raunch to it taste. I hope if you take on this store the practice will stop, if not I will find another store! Thanks

      • Mark Moore says:

        I want to head up there next week to stock up on the 5.99/lb shell steaks. Sometimes they have the 6.99/lb porterhouse that are even better.

    22. James brummel says:

      its a store.

    23. IH says:

      I shopped at Fairway on Thursday late afternoon and all was normal, excepting for the cleared out olive bar that I noticed as I was waiting for my coffee to be ground. I was able to buy everything on my list. And the whole fresh kosher chicken for Shabbat turned out to be especially excellent.

      I only understood that something had changed because the checkout lines were longer than what seemed proportionate to the number of people in the store. I ended up skipping the express line and waiting with only two other people (one in front, one behind) and then discovering that the POS terminals were wrapped in plastic and that they wouldn’t honor the weeklong $10 coupon on its last day because they were now Shoprite. I was still able to pay contactless with my phone, just to a different device. On my way out, I then parsed the Shoprite 18-wheeler on the street.

      I am very grateful to the staff of Fairway, who are front-line workers in every sense. It is due to them that we are able to eat at the standards we have previously been privileged to enjoy. My only gripe is with those customers who think that social distancing does’t apply to them, because, you know, they’re special. Like, the woman who took off her mask once inside the store; or on April 27th when I recorded this vignette: An hour ago, in Fairway, at the Kosher meat section, a (masked at least) woman is poking around the packages taking her time. I stand back waiting for her to finish, and eventually realize that she’s chatting on her phone, and not really about to pick something off the shelf. I say from behind my mask, excuse me, but if you’re talking on the phone, perhaps you can move over to allow me to get something. She’s offended, and then apologizes to whomever is on the other end of the phone to say that she was interrupted. But, she does move on.

    24. Joseph benigno says:

      Where the sanitizer

    25. Barb L says:

      I’ve been shopping at Fairway (Bway/74th) for 34 years.
      Until the new owners put a sign on the ongoing ‘out of order’ elevator and control the amount of people allowed on the second elevator, I won’t be returning. It’s a disgrace how ever since the pandemic began, the staff and so called managers have not changed their laissez-faire attitude about this ongoing issue.
      Does anyone know about the elevator situation? I asked an employee 5 days ago and they didn’t seem to know that one elevator was out! Do the new owners not know the infrastructure of a store they have just bought? Tells us what we’re in store for, no pun intended.
      Good luck keeping your customers.

    26. Maggie Clarke says:

      You didn’t say anything about the interruption of deliveries. I was supposed to have a delivery Friday between 6 and 8 and at 4 I got an email saying I won’t be getting a delivery go elsewhere. That was pretty rude and your reporting doesn’t give any information about what’s going to happen on that score.

      • lynn says:

        Go elsewhere, as in shop at another store? Why on earth would they tell you to go elsewhere instead of rescheduling your delivery? I don’t understand the logic in that. 😮

    27. Ms, S says:

      Will you kindly clarify my confusion? The Brooklyn location, Ralph Ave. Is not on the list as Fairway. It is now Food Way. Is it still owned by Fairway? If not, who owns it and why was it sold? Do you know if this Food Way will continue to carry organic and natural groceries?
      Finally, I am very unhappy about the change to my neighborhood supermarket.

      Thank you,
      Ms. S

    28. A Turner says:

      Beware! I shopped at Fairway 74th yesterday (5/10) and was overcharged and sent to Customer Service where I was barked at “NO REFUNDS! Come back next week!”

    29. Susan Cohen says:

      Fairway has been the best market ever since Rabbi Marmorstein began the kosher depts, his bakery and meats were of the highest quality, our community heard that he will be the kosher supervision, as long as her is there the entire comm will be supporting Fairway

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I have to disagree with your statement. The gefilte fish prepared foods container, which comes with a small container of horseradish, was a regular staple of mine at least once a week for the past few years. About 6 months ago the portion size of the two gefilte fish slices was reduced by 25% to 50%, usually closer to 50%. I thought it was a one time fluke, but it’s now the norm. So I refuse to buy any of the kosher prepared foods in protest because of this.

    30. Marlene Burey says:

      I’m glad Fairway will stay Fairway!!
      Thank you!

    31. Kathleen says:

      I ordered online at “Fairway” yesterday and my order arrived in a couple of hours. However, they no longer carry Murray’s chicken (humanely raised, not just antibiotic free), and the Fairway chicken I got had no “sell by” date on it and it was bad. I got a refund, but now I have no chicken, not much help. I was also unable to get any Dr. Bronner’s products, or the organic lotion I’ve been buying there for years. I just ordered them from the Vitamin Shoppe and guess what, they also had hand sanitizer! I’m afraid that no matter what Shoprite says Fairway is and will no longer be Fairway. They always had a good variety of organic produce, and so many other organic products and it’s what I loved about the store. Fairway was never a lovely supermarket, but I could get things there all in one place that I would otherwise (and will now have to) go to several different places for. So sad to see it go. I’m looking for other options.