Goodbye Sprouts

When we discovered Sprouts we were thrilled. So many great products, including hard to find health-type foods. Wife was thrilled, I enjoyed it. Heck, the first time I went to Sprouts I was giggling because of the great variety of foodstuffs they stocked and provided.

But alas, they will receive no more of my money. And for a family of 5 that wound up using Sprouts as our primary grocery store? That’s a fair chunk of money.

Why?

Seems Sprouts corporate decided to start posting “no guns” signs at their locations. I’m not sure how widespread this is across the nation, but certainly 30.06 signs are showing up at Texas locations (many reports are being made). I didn’t see any signs the last time I went to my local store, but it seems the rollout has been happening over the course of December 2013 so who knows. Sign or not at my particular store, it’s evident this is corporate policy.

I didn’t see any formal posting about this, but here’s something from their Facebook page:

Good afternoon Paul, Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about our decision to prohibit firearms in our stores. Please understand that we recognize and respect our customers’ rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a right that prohibits the government (but not private retailers) from infringing on citizens’ right to bear arms. That right, however, must be balanced with our need as a retailer to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our customers and team members. That’s why, after careful and thoughtful analysis, we have decided to prohibit our customers and our team members from bringing firearms onto our store premises. While this decision may disappoint some of our valued customers, such as yourself, we stand by our decision and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our communities about it.

We hope that you will continue to be a part of the Sprouts family notwithstanding our decision on this issue. We value your patronage and hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Stephanie
Sprouts Farmers Market
Customer Relations Specialist

They are correct, that 2A is about restricting the federal government, not about private retailers. In fact, they do have every right to do this, and we have every right to take our business elsewhere.

I’m just saddened — and confused — by their decision.

They want a safe and comfortable environment. I would appreciate to know their logic and reasoning behind this, but they are getting bombarded with feedback about this decision, and given how they are active in responding to every non-gun-related post on their Facebook page but make no comments on the gun-related posts, they are obviously making no further comment on the issue.

It’s strange.

The 30.06 sign only prohibits law-abiding CHL holders. The thing is, if you look at facts and data, CHL holders are not the people you should be afraid of. In fact, CHL holders are statistically more law-abiding than the non-CHL-holding citizenry! If you want a safe environment, CHL holders are precisely the sort of people you want to have around. They aren’t going to commit violence. They aren’t going to steal.

There are no signs or ways to keep violent, gun-wielding felons out of your store. In fact, today they can still shop in Sprouts. But today, CHL holders — who cannot be felons, by definition — cannot shop at Sprouts.

How is that creating a safe environment?

I know we all want to feel safe, and these days people seem to put greater emphasis on feeling than actually being. But which actually makes you safer? Illusions or reality?

I would like to believe there is sound reasoning behind why Sprouts made their decision. In fact, they might gain support and expand their customer base if they were willing to share their specific reasoning. Furthermore, it’d be great if Sprouts was willing to enter into dialogue that helped guide them towards policies that actually lead to a truly safer and more comfortable environment. One that strove to provide real safety, and didn’t alienate law-abiding customers. I mean, it seems that thousands upon thousands of other businesses in Texas can do this, so I’m sure if Sprouts wanted to, they could as well.

Sprouts donated $100,00 to the victims of the Aurora shooting victims. That’s fantastic! I applaud their generosity and compassion. I just hope they aren’t extrapolating the acts of a madman to the 750,000+ Texas CHL holders that, again, are demonstrably law-abiding, sound citizens. I mean, we’re not supposed to extrapolate the actions of a lone terrorist to all Muslims, so I hope they aren’t committing the same sort of extrapolation.

I’d love to give Sprouts my business again because I appreciate their business model and the products they provide. But it seems for now this is their decision. I will take my money elsewhere, and encourage others to do the same. We will support those that understand the value of healthy living, and that do not treat the law-abiding with dangerous misunderstanding.

9 thoughts on “Goodbye Sprouts

  1. Thanks for posting that. I used to go to the old Sunflower Mkt location a lot.

    Not any more. Which is a shame- they had a golden balsamic vinegar that make a rocking vinaigrette.

    • I admit, I haven’t looked to see if that particular location has a 30.06 posted. But it doesn’t really matter, because there are lots of reports of other Texas stores getting them. Plus, it’s pretty much confirmed by Sprouts Corporate that this is in fact true policy.

      So… yeah… so long Sprouts. It’s a shame too because yeah, they had a lot of great stuff and WERE a good company to support.

      I did contact Sprouts directly with my feelings on the matter. No emotion, no jingoism, just stating essentially the above (tho more briefly) and that my money is going elsewhere (and I’ll spread the word… which it seems I’ve done).

  2. Pingback: Hello Amazon | Stuff From Hsoi

  3. I’m guessing the “comfort” part of the statement you quote above is the part she really means.

    Can’t have those soccer-moms frightened by the notion somebody *might* have a GUN! (Please note, the sarcasm should clearly visible dripping off my words)

    • There are lots of Texas soccer-moms that carry — even here in Austin. We get all kinds in our classes, I see all kinds at the gun range.

      I really do want to understand exactly what they see as a problem here. Because they’ve only succeeded in barring the law-abiding, not the criminal. I fail to see what sense it makes. But it probably also hasn’t occurred to folks that there are lots of evil people around them all day, every day. Go to the mall and you are going to be surrounded by criminals, thugs, felons, and they will be carrying weapons — you’re just not aware of it. So do you really want only the bad guys to be around you?

      Alas, some don’t get it.

  4. Hi Hsoi,

    Sorry my inner ‘cranky old guy’ was at the helm when I wrote that.

    Like you I do not understand the problem. I’m ASSuming that either Stephanie or her management are simply either anti-gun or are totally clueless and that forms their opinions either out of ignorance and/or fear.

    She mentioned “overwhelming positive feedback” with regard to this policy. I guess her coffee clutch is anti…

    Just like those signs make gun-free zones so safe.

    Yea, I know I’m not helping with my sarcastic take on this.

    I also wonder how much of this is driven by corporate lawyers looking to minimize any exposure they might have if a customer shoots a BG or accidentally shoots an innocent bystander or associate?

    I wonder how open to a dialog this Stephanie might be. reasonable people when shown the reality of the situation and statistics may be swayed. Providing the ‘light bulb’ actually flickers on…

    • Cranky is ok. 🙂

      My guess is they are anti-gun. The only other gun indication I’ve seen is their donation to the survivors of the Aurora theater shooting. The way it was handled appears to have an anti- flavor to it. I could be wrong, and if so I would appreciate being corrected. It would be welcome to know the real and true motivations behind their decision, instead of getting boilerplate responses and silence because they don’t want to deal with the issue. Given the way they do respond (boilerplates and silence), I am guessing they are not open to discussion, reason, or to change their minds.

      And that’s fine.

      If we are to be truly a free country, we have to allow people to hold to their beliefs, even if others may consider them ill-guided, ill-founded, and based upon misconceptions, misunderstanding, or ignorance.

      And I will take my assocation, my business, my money, my promotion, elsewhere.

      No hard feelings towards them, but I guess it’s just hard for me to grasp why some people wish to go through life being willfully ignorant. I mean, I wasn’t always a gun guy… I just was willing to look at facts and reason, and eventually came around. But hey… if you want to go through life with your fingers in your ears, that’s your choice — just be willing to accept the consequences of your choices.

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