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Why Ben & Jerry's But Not Peter's?


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Why Ben & Jerry's But Not Peter's?

Devil's Advocate | Feb 7, 2001 12:18 PM

Don't get me wrong: I've been going to Peter's since well before they moved to their present location, and I'm as saddened by the impending loss as anyone. But I have to wonder why the owner's of the recently opened Ben & Jerry's believe they can afford current lease rates on Court Street while the owner's of Peter's believe they could not operate at the offered rate on Atlantic Avenue.

It seems unlikely Court Street just south of Atlantic is substantially cheaper. And if it were, Peter's could just move: there are vacancies, for example, on Court just north of Atlantic. Furthermore, owner's of a franchise like Ben & Jerry's must pay franchise fees that Peter's is free of, and must buy their supplies from the franchisor.

Is it possible that while it is evident to everyone on this board that a good local business is to be preferred to a franchise, much of the public doesn't agree, and would rather buy from Ben & Jerry--even
the subsection of the public living in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill?

I also note that Peter, the founder, now lives in Seattle, and that the store is operated by a former employee who became a partner. It is purely speculation on my part, but I wonder whether Peter's share of the revenues operates as a sort-of-franchise-fee, and perhaps is more than the business can bear.

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