Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
I think the store is a fad.
it's only a fad insofar as it involves people expecting it to be something it's not. it's not intended to be a whole foods substitute, or a chain of high-end groceries, even. if you want to characterize it simply, it's "gourmet value": they offer aspirational products -- some of them very good, some of them not -- at a very affordable price. because of their pricing structure, they're never going to have neals yard cheeses or great red burgundies. but they do offer reliably among the best prices on an acceptable level of real parmigiano, olive oil, etc.