To cut down on theft — especially of the chain’s most popular target — QFC is planning to shut down the backside Harvard Ave entrance at both of its Capitol Hill stores on Broadway.
Weekend shoppers found changes at the Broadway Market store implemented over the weekend with the Harvard Ave doors across from the library closed to shoppers. A company spokesperson explained the change to CHS — and got some quality marketing into the statement:
We are focusing on putting our people in the front and center of our business. This includes our customers, associates and vendor community. We’re honored to be able to present an abundance of fresh and local Pacific Northwest products to our customers. We consider ourselves to be champions of our local farmers and vendor partners and in order to support our people, we need to be able to run a safe and profitable business. In short, we need to be paid for the product that we put on our shelves, which in turn will allow us to continue providing the best products and promoting our local businesses.
“We expect that these increased security measures will allow us to continue to serve our customers at the highest level while also limiting the amount of unpaid merchandise that leaves our stores,” the spokesperson said.
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The spokesperson confirmed that “similar changes” are coming to the Harvard Market entrance off Harvard Ave just above Pike.
In 2015, CHS called working at the Broadway Market QFC one of the most dangerous jobs on the Hill as we reported on anecdotes involving theft, drugs, and people suffering a mental crisis ,and the employees left to try to deal with the situations that arise. At the same time, thousands of shoppers use the stores every week in mostly uneventful transactions.
Well, my Capitol Hill finally died today. The Harvard Ave entrance to the Broadway Market QFC is permanently closed.
— Ryan Packer (@typewriteralley) January 29, 2018
The QFC changes come years after the privatization of liquor sales began in 2012. They also come in the run-up to the planned opening of Whole Foods at Broadway and Madison and in an increasingly competitive Capitol Hill-area grocery economy.
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time QFC access issues have made news on CHS. In 2014, we reported on the solution to repair the perpetually broken Harvard Market escalator: replacing it with stairs.
While the change of a sliding glass door isn’t the most significant alteration to the urban environment around Capitol Hill, it will mean change for a lot of people and a lot of different types of people given the store’s popularity. Senior groups, for example, typically use the Harvard Market QFC’s Harvard Ave entrance for pick-up and drop-off for customers who prefer to do their own shopping.
QFC is “currently working with some of our regular shopping groups that use the door to ensure that they are taken care of,” the spokesperson said.