“Sure, but they don’t have to carry exactly the same products. It’s not that there was no competition before — we carried some of the same items — but we had matching pricing.” That’s Shirley Ng, owner of the Country Cheese Coffee Market at 1578 Hopkins Street in Berkeley, CA. (HT: Marginal Revolution) The story is about how “friendly spirit of the neighborhood is at stake,” because the owners of the nearby Monterey Market “have begun to deliberately stock items that they specialize in — including certain cheeses, wine and flowers — and they are selling them at predatory prices, which threatens the local merchants’ livelihoods.”
The article ends referencing a meeting between Monterey Market and the group of unhappy specialty merchants:
Meyer said that recently the group had been approached by a representative of Monterey Market to set up a meeting. “That discussion will determine where we go from here,” he said.
Asked what he expected from the Market, Meyer said: “They should talk to their fellow merchants about how they could all flourish.”
No such flourishing for consumers in Berkeley. Also, I’d probably skip the meeting if I were a merchant in the area.
Good comments in the thread at the original story.