"Pam's Trees" Debate
Â Â The Cannella family is picking out their Christmas tree, and they decided to buy one from Pam's Trees in the Thornbrook Plaza, just like they have for the past three years.... and just like many families have for the past 18 years.
Â Â But when the Cannellas showed up this year, they were told their favorite tree lot might not be here next year.
Â Â Â The spot where the stand sits is controlled by Fresh Market, and officials from Fresh Market decided they didn't want the lot to sell wreaths this year. Â
Â Â Â Â David Pigue owns the tree lot, and he says Fresh Market tried to pull the plug on the wreaths to eliminate its competition.
Â Â Â Â "We really feel powerless in the whole scenario," Pigue said.
Â Â Â Â Â These wreaths are 30 to 40 percent of Pigue's profit.
Â Â Â Â He says despite Fresh Market's request, he's still selling them, not just for the profit, but also for his customers.
Â Â Â Â "We have customers who've come to expect this as a service," Pigue said.
Â Â Â Â Â Travis Lambert is one of those customers.Â She says she always buys a wreath from Pam's.
Â Â Â Â "It's a real personal experience which I don't find so much so at the supermarket," Lambert said.
Â Â Â Â But since Pigue's not complying with Fresh Market this year, he says he's afraid they won't renew his lease for next year.
Â Â Â Â Other tenants in the plaza say the thousands of people the tree stand brings in actually helps all the businesses there... including fresh market. Â
Â Â Â Â The Cannellas agree.
Â Â Â Â We'll probably get dinner over there tonight, pick it up on the way home so we can start getting the tree set up," Joe Cannella said.
Â Â Â Â " Fresh Market's corporate headquarters declined an interview but did release this statement, which reads in part:
Â Â Â Â "We agreed to let him continue to operate his primary business of selling Christmas trees, and asked only that he refrain from selling wreaths."
Â Â Â Â "We feel like they're being a corporate bully," Pigue said.
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