Illinois Food Retailers Association President Brian Jordan said stores like Leamington Foods in the Lawndale neighborhood have seen customers leave to shop elsewhere, because of the tax.
“One out of 32 retail locations in Cook County has seen a decline in beverage sales, and some have even seen beverage sales decline nearly 50 percent,” he said. “Over 40 percent of the stores have seen a 30 percent decrease in beverage sales, and over 15 percent of the stores reporting have seen a 40 percent or greater decrease in beverage sales.”
Frank Guiglio, district manager for Tony’s Fresh Market, said many of his customers are now shopping outside of Cook County.
“I have never, ever seen the outrage and anger that’s being displayed by our customers in Tony’s regarding this excessive and abusive beverage tax,” he said.
Valley Produce owner Laurie Tenutia said stores not only are losing beverage sales, but other food sales, as shoppers pick up other groceries outside Cook County when they go to buy soda and other sugary drinks.
“They’re not going to come to us just for groceries anymore. They’re going to go make the one stop, and buy whatever they need. So we are going to drop drastically in sales. Our business, because of it, has dropped 11 percent,” she said. “Sadly, lower sales mean that we have to cut down hours for all of our working employees.”
Well gee.. what’dya think would happen?! Don’t get me wrong… I had to give up the “hard stuff” too (i’m still talking about soda) but a new tax causing people to lose work? Gimmie a break!