Fairway President refutes charge that they tried to “pull a fast one”; ‘That is not who we are’

Fairway President Refutes Charge They Tried to ‘Pull a Fast One’; ‘That Is Not Who We Are as a Company’

February 2, 2023, 9:59 AM

John Sumas is Co-President of Village Super Market, Inc., the parent company of Fairway Market. Village Super Market was founded in 1939 by John’s grandfather, Nick, and Nick’s brother, Perry. Today, Village remains a family-run business that operates supermarkets serving communities throughout New York and New Jersey.

West Side Rag received the following essay from Mr. Sumas on Wednesday afternoon, February 1.

By John Sumas

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to concerns raised by a Fairway shopper in his recent stories (December 4, 2022 and January 13, 2023) published in the West Side Rag.

The customer wrote about a visit to our store during the busy Thanksgiving week and expressed concerns about his shopping experience.

We want residents of the Upper West Side community to know that when a customer has a complaint, we always try to make things right. We always want to be a good neighbor.

The customer did receive a full refund for the one bag of unopened stuffing he brought back to the store – something that was not clear in his stories. A member of our Fairway team also reached out to the customer directly to discuss his experience and we were surprised by his characterization of that conversation. It is always our intention to do right by every customer, and we strongly refute the implication that we attempted to “pull a fast one,” as indicated in his story’s title. That is not who we are as a company.

Village Supermarkets, Inc. has served the grocery needs of communities in New York and New Jersey for nearly 90 years. Beginning as a family-owned business, we are now proudly fourth-generation grocers serving millions of customers each week. The trust our customers have in us has been hard earned and we work to keep that trust every day. Which is why when we disappoint, we will take the needed steps to make it right and get better at what we do.

We heard the customer in that good faith conversation in December and assured him that we would take steps to improve how we handle customer complaints and make sure all our shoppers feel heard. We are committed to this.

As a result of that conversation, we worked with our store team to address and communicate our refund policy in order to improve our customer experience.

But we know there is always more work to be done. That’s why we hope our customers can resolve their concerns by contacting us directly so we can address issues right away. Our fantastic store manager, Dehliah, or another member of our team, is always available at the store to assist. Customers are also encouraged to provide feedback 24 hours a day, seven days a week by visiting us online at https://www.tellwakefernbrands.com/?Brand=FAIR, where they can also request to get in touch with a team member.

We provide a variety of products, including fresh produce, prepared meals and specialty foods that customers want. As part of the effort to source thousands of items for residents in the community, we are always evaluating price, value and the needs of our shoppers against the backdrop of the highest level of inflation in 40 years and ongoing supply chain challenges.

We hope to regain your trust as your neighborhood grocer and a committed member of the Upper West Side community. We know we are newcomers to a New York City neighborhood that is both rich in tradition and yet always forward-looking.

That’s why we are reviewing our store policies and procedures, improving in-store promotional signage, expanding our variety of both everyday staples and specialty foods, and exploring new ways we can help fight hunger in New York City through our continuing work with organizations such as City Harvest.

We look forward to serving you for many years to come and want you to know that we are listening.

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