Apparently Williamsburg really doesn’t like Duane Reade. The Williamsburg Observer, calling for a boycott, let loose on the soon-to-be opened pharmacy and it’s “mega-corp-Walgreen” owners, calling their actions everything from “gangsterish” to those of a “hungry parasite.” Tell us how you really feel! Williamsburg residents have responded, forming a facebook group called “I’m Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg.” There are over 650 members currently, championing local stores like King’s Pharmacy and calling for a boycott of the incoming chain store that’s threatening those family owned businesses.
While Williamsburg residents are up in arms about Duane Reade and homogenizing big business chain stores in general, someone started a similar group calling for a boycott on Starbucks if they come to the neighborhood. This particular campaign is in response to the fact that the well liked Bagel Store is being forced out of their lease by high prices when the lease runs out in November 2011. After doubling the rent from $7300 to 14,500, thereby making it too expensive for the Bagel Shop owners, there was a rumor reported by NY Eater that the landlord will be renting the space out to Starbuck’s instead, as they’re willing to pay.
The landlord denied the rumor and so far the facebook page is only twenty-two people, but as the Bagel Shop’s final days close in residents might rally around that embattled shop as well. It appears that the residents of Williamsburg are willing to go to battle for their neighborhood. Now it just remains to see who will win.