A new, perhaps unique, retailing experience which began last weekend in Southeast San Diego augurs well, not only for that long-neglected community but for bold public-private cooperation as well.
The Gateway Marketplace is a 55,000-square-foot grocery-warehouse store employing 125 people, most from the nearby minority neighborhood. The largest retailing establishment to open in Southeast in more than a decade, this nonprofit store sprang from a $3.5-million donation from Price Club founder Sol Price.
Not surprisingly, the store is modeled in many ways on that highly successful, no-frills chain. It sells at low prices all manner of merchandise--from food to tires--displayed in open boxes and along high, austere shelves. Even operational guidance for Gateway is being provided by managers on leave from the Price Club.
A difference is that Gateway is a public, not a membership, store, and, further, items are sold in normal sizes, not the huge wholesale-sized quantities so familiar to Price Club shoppers.