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Grocers with scanners shouldn’t need a price sticker on every item

Next time you wander the aisles of your local supermarket, take notice of the price stickers on every can of soup, box of cereal and bag of rice. Although prices are displayed on the shelves, itemized pricing on most items is required by an outdated city law. This redundant tagging is a colossal waste of time for workers, and grocers incur thousands of dollars in penalties because, inevitably, some items are missed or mislabeled.

The city's Department of Consumer Affairs makes routine inspections of small grocers and fines them up to $18 per improperly tagged item. The agency has issued more than 12,000 such violations in the past three years.

The law dates back to the 1990s, when there was concern that consumers wouldn't know an item's price until they reached the register. Advancements in price scanning and inventory-management systems now ensure that customers can feel confident that the item's price aligns with the shelf tag, which they typically can double-check with a scanner. The law has been rendered nothing but a burden on small businesses and their workers.

Small grocers in the city face a grim future with rising rents, over-regulation and competition from corporate chains and online retailers. Their regulation by the state Agriculture and Health departments and the city Health, Consumer Affairs, Environmental Protection and Sanitation departments leads to an enormous number of fines in an industry that operates on paper-thin margins.

The City Council must update its laws to reflect the new technology and provide much-needed relief to local grocery-store owners. Intro. 1145, sponsored by Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr., is a start. The bill would exempt grocers that have an electronic scanner available for customer use from the itemized pricing rule. Many stores already have scanners. By removing a burdensome and costly regulation, the bill would allow store employees to be more efficient in their daily routine and would spur more small grocers to add scanners, improving the customer experience.

To lessen the burden on businesses that have been cornerstones of their communities for decades, the City Council should tag the price-sticker law obsolete.


Swearing-In of Newly Elected NSA Board of Directors Performed During Ceremony


The National Supermarket Association celebrate the swearing-In of newly elected NSA Board of Directors

To Start of the ceremony, Father Erick Cruz from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of NY offered the invocation/blessing to the Newly Elected Board and the ceremony attendees. The event’s special guest, United States Congressman Adriano Espaillat, preceded by performing the NSA Swear-in to the newly elected Board of Directors.

The new NSA Board consist of; Mr. William Rodriguez President-elect, 
Samuel Collado Vice-President, Pedro Goico General Secretary, 
Frank Felix Zapata Treasurer, Jose Azcona, Ivan Bueno, Nallely de Jesus, Dionicio Liz, Angel Rafael Nuñez, Anthony Peña, and Frank Pimentel. This board will serve the NSA for a term of two years (2019 – 2020).

During the event the newly Elected National President, Mr. William Rodriguez, laid out the working platform that will be implemented with a focus on enhancement of the membership capabilities, strengthening the relationships with wholesalers, partnering up with DSD companies and building meaningful alliances with community-based organizations to support the communities they serve. In addition, Mr. Rodriguez will work closely with an external advisory board to combine diverse knowledge and experiences to guide the NSA into the next era. Furthermore, he urged everyone to work together on an aligned vision for a more prosperous and dynamic future for the NSA.

Attendance for this event, was over 250 people, from NSA members, company representatives, wholesalers, and elected officials.
The masters of ceremony were Mr. Nelson Eusebio former president of the NSA and Mr. Jose Geraldo, Executive Director of the NSA.

Founded in 1989 by a group of Hispanics entrepreneurs, the NSA is a trade association that represents the interest of independent supermarket owners in New York and Urban cities throughout the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic Region and the state of Florida.

This year the NSA is celebrating its 30th anniversary, continuing to provide its members with hands-on representation in both the private and public sectors while advocating issues that impact the entire supermarket industry.

A sizeable representation of its member base, mostly of Hispanic descent. Currently, NSA membership is over 400 independent supermarkets and growing in the aforementioned regions.


Within the six hours of the annual National Supermarket Association (NSA) trade show in New York, one of the main events for independent supermarkets, there was a real business frenzy, companies, new product presentations and everything in between. It was a true festive atmosphere, something typical when most of those present are Hispanic.

More than 200 companies participated this year in the trade show that only continues to grow, attracting the attention of businesses, distributors and food producers at a national and international level.

“We are a platform that was created to give to opportunities to those companies that don’t have the easy ability to present their products to independent supermarkets,” William Rodriguez, founder of the NSA Trade Show, told Abasto Media.

For his part, Rudy Fuertes, president of the NSA, spoke about how the importance of the National Supermarket Association lies in being able to “defend independent supermarkets in terms of how laws negatively affect their business and offer them the support they need to become better companies that offer better service to their clients and at the same time to their communities.”


During the NSA trade show, the Company of the Year award was presented, which was Inca Kola USA this year, a family company that began their business of distributing beverages in the 80’s and the Businessman of the Year award was given to Alex Guzman of the Key Food Supermarket.

Hundreds of Hispanic products were presented at the trade show, highlighting the Goya Foods pavilion that stood out with a gigantic display of its rich and extensive range of foods.

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