retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that the state of New Jersey is using $100 million worth of tax breaks as a lure to get pure-play e-grocery retailer FreshDirect to relocated its base of operations from New York to the Garden State. The story says that New York State and City officials are countering with a similar package, in hopes of keeping FreshDirect in the Empire State.

It isn’t just that New Jersey believes in e-grocery. The Times notes that “the battle over Fresh Direct is only the latest skirmish in the decades-long war for jobs between the two states. In the last two years, New Jersey has pushed harder, offering ever-larger subsidies and incentives to prospective candidates. Companies have long taken advantage of the fighting by playing one state against another to land the most lucrative benefits.

“It is unclear how a move west to Jersey City would benefit Fresh Direct’s truck deliveries when the bulk of its business is east of the Hudson River. But New York officials, who were reluctant to discuss the matter on Tuesday while negotiations continue, say the company’s threat to relocate out of state is genuine.”

The story says that FreshDirect projects that it could add as many as 1,000 jobs over the next five years - and so there is much at stake here.
KC's View:
Here’s my recommendation to officials in New York State and New York City.

If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to make like Tony Soprano, I think you have to emulate a very specific New York family in fighting back.

I was thinking the Corleones.