On the heels of the radio shack thread and talking about Walmart maybe one day coming to the USVI, I wanted to discuss what it would take to get a stateside grocery store chain down here.
The Island Crossing shopping center on STX seems like the perfect place and I would imagine one could be added to the Home Depot shopping complex on STT as well.
When I lived in Hawaii, Safeway was there and the price of groceries was very reasonable compared to here and we are talking about 3 times the distance to ship. Plus they always had the typical stateside 2 for 1 deals and coupons and such. To top it off, the selection was outstanding and the fruits and produce were very good as well.
Foodland was another chain that I think is only based in Hawaii but they were price competitive with Safeway because they had to be. Plus they had a deli counter with about 10 different kinds of Poke which was amazing along with octopus salad and other delicacies...yum!
Bottom line is the grocery stores in the USVI are pretty much monopolized by the Arab community. They can basically charge what they want and there is little competition since the other stores are also owned by Arabs. A stateside grocery store witch access to larger inventories and big suppliers would give them some serious competition and bring in different and better products for consumers.
This to me is one area that could significantly decrease the cost of living for every VI resident. If I were running for Governor, education, infrastructure, recycling, and attracting a large chain grocery store to setup shop in the VI would be my main platforms in that order of priority.
If our elected officials actually championed the causes of the people they represent, I would take this idea and try to see where it could go. But alas, we know how far that would get with our intellectually challenged and short sighted elected officials.