Food 4 Less Opening on Black Wall Street in Oakland

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 3:08:58
By: Ben Johnson

OAKLAND -- Discount grocer Food 4 Less will open a 50,000-square-foot supermarket today in Oakland's Black Wall Street District ( on International Boulevard @ Durant Square. It will be located at Signature Properties' new housing development on the San Leandro border.

The supermarkets will add to a selection that includes a couple of Albertsons markets and corner grocery stores.

"We felt it was an area that needed a 'price-impact' store," said Steve Sellers, general manager of the Oakland Food 4 Less.

The 50-employee Food 4 Less at 10950 International Blvd. has been in the works for 31/2 years. Food 4 Less features a bakery, meat department and fresh produce that is delivered daily. "We pretty much have everything a 'normal' grocery store would have. We just have better prices," Sellers said.

The Oakland Food 4 Less is independently owned and operated, along with stores in Tracy, Concord and Citrus Heights. Sellers said those Northern California stores are not part of Kroger Co., the nation's No. 2 grocery retailer, which franchises other Food 4 Less stores.

"They need a lot of stuff in East Oakland -- cafes, video stores and supermarkets also," Gazzali's co-owner Amani Algazzali said.

"This will go along way in creating traffic for black businesses on International and help the Black Wall Street Merchants group achieve their goal of adding 500 new jobs by 2005 in the 50th avenue to city border corridor" said Rev. Michael Carter, Sr., BWS Board Chairman and owner of City Copy & Printing.

Black Wall Street Merchants goals include Increasing public and private investment on BWS to retain and attracts retail, office, housing, services, and cultural activities which meet will consumer needs, create jobs, provide income to business and tax revenue to the City. improve retail mix; clean and safe streets; and improved transportation and parking.