Top

blog

Stories

 

QuikTrip CEO: "What Happened in Ferguson Could Happen Anywhere"

Categories: Michael Brown

QTmain.JPG
Danny Wicentowski
Police guard the burnt-out, graffitied QuikTrip in Ferguson.
The QuikTrip at West Florissant Avenue and Northwinds Estates Drive has become ground zero, as the press corps here likes to say, for the unrest that grips Ferguson.

By day, it has served as a lively gathering place, a shelter from the rain and an icon of reclamation on a street that draws peaceful demonstrators against police brutality from all over the world. By night, its burnt-out husk is a shrine to chaos, a reminder of what happens when the tensions bubbling in this St. Louis suburb boil over.

The gas-station chain still isn't sure whether it will rebuild the destroyed store or reopen another store that's been closed as a safety precaution two miles up West Florissant Avenue. But so far CEO Chet Cadieux has been admirably upbeat about the community that has turned his brand into a symbol of protest.

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

"Ferguson is a good, affluent area," Cadieux said Tuesday, according to Tulsa World.

"It's just that you get to a point that there's a deep sense of social outrage, and what happened in Ferguson could happen anywhere."

QTsign.JPG
Danny Wicentowski
A man looks over West Florissant Avenue from the former sign of the QuikTrip in Ferguson. All QT markings have been removed from the gas station.
Cadieux, who is notoriously difficult to reach for media interviews, commented on his Ferguson stores Tuesday during the International Council of Shopping Centers' Oklahoma Idea Exchange in Oklahoma City. He said the store at 9420 West Florissant Avenue hasn't seen any unrest since it was built in 1989.

"The people who are causing trouble aren't even from Ferguson," he said, according to Tulsa World. "They're opportunistic people coming into the area for looting."

Sunday night, a little more than 24 hours after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown nearby, rumors began to spread about the QuikTrip near the apartment complex where Brown lived. Protesters heard that Brown was shot because QuikTrip called 911 on him for robbing it, according to the Washington Post.

The rumors were only sort of true: Ferguson police say Brown did rob the nearby Ferguson Market and Liquor before he was killed.

See also: Michael Brown Police Report: Photos Suggest Robbery Beforehand, Limited Other Details

But the damage was already done. Looters smashed into the QuikTrip, stealing food and alcohol before setting it ablaze.

As of Tuesday, a chainlink fence keeps protestors and violent instigators off store property, and workers had emptied the underground fuel tanks. QuikTrip has declined to share how much revenue it is losing by closing two gas stations or to speculate about its return to the neighborhood.

"At some point, we hope everything calms down and we'll be able to take care of our customers," Mike Thornbrugh, a spokesman for QuikTrip, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Right now, we just can't do that."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


My Voice Nation Help
71 comments
Rafael Gonzalez
Rafael Gonzalez

No peaceful protesters are not to blame but all the losers looting and stealing are the ones that need beat.

Ophelia Payne
Ophelia Payne

I heard a business owner from Jennings say that he was offered insurance in the case of a riot but did not take it because he thought it would never happen. It was on NPR.

Angie Stamme
Angie Stamme

Nathan Bell, by your attack on Melissa, you clearly are against Wilson, or you are indifferent to Justice for Mr. Wilson AND Brown. I would ask YOU the same questions you asked Melissa.

Stephen Koehler
Stephen Koehler

No, they don't have to anything. They've been attacked. As one poster pointed out earlier, generally Insurance does not cover civil unrest so those businesses will be out everything. QT is a moderate sized corporation, and if it does rebuild, it will have to invest its own money in the reconstruction of the store. As such its insurance rates will be higher due to the nature of the activity that has occurred there. A lot of businesses cannot function in areas of former urban unrest because of the high rates insurance companies charge for their policies. Therefore, you will see a lot of businesses exit the area simply because it is no longer profitable for them due to high shoplifting rates, insurance and security costs. This is going to be a derision where the almighty dollar rules and the dollars and cents costs of doing business may prohibit them from operating in that area anymore. Its truly unfortunate, but they are in the business to make a profit and if they can't, well, they can't keep the store open.

John Nevettie
John Nevettie

In case you don't watch the news 2 city police officers just gunned down a guy with a knife did they have non-lethal options as well... You have to see the evidence to have an informed opinion.

Laura Knoblock
Laura Knoblock

John, I work with saint Louis city cops and they all say the cop was in the wrong. He had many non lethal options and chose his gun. Whether he was just scared or a racist asshole, he made a mistake and should be held responsible for his actions.

Gary Berry
Gary Berry

I can't even use my QuikTrip card there anymore.

Charlie Heidenfelder
Charlie Heidenfelder

How do you just stand there and watch people loot your neighborhood? They are all responsible for this!!!!

Betty Youshouldknow
Betty Youshouldknow

The one on West Florissant was closed; QuikTrip hasn't decided if they will reopen that one.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

Not true. Looters are usually criminals to begin with. Same people who looted after Rodney King too. And yes, those stores should be important to the community they serve. Have you ever had to drive far to a store? How about living in a neighborhood with no grocery store? You better appreciate what you have.

ChrisXtopher Roles
ChrisXtopher Roles

I believe the story still would have been covered because someone made it all about race. Even though this had nothing to do with race, it's always brought up. The looting and rioting are a side story to this. Even many of the black community are outraged with it. Many people lost money, not just white people. People so care about their neighbors, that's what the protests were showing, but the looting just goes to show that people aren't willing to be civil.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

You will not see that happening in Southern IL. I don't even think the people of East St. Louis would do that to their stores.

Sasha Spirit
Sasha Spirit

Interesting Kate. I am not sure. Regardless....they still have made millions off of the community. They still need to stand and support it now.

John Salkowski
John Salkowski

You should close all QT'S in and around Ferguson, and yes the Rioting burned it DOWN. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kate Maul
Kate Maul

I hope I am wrong but typically civil unrest is not covered in any insurance policy. Probably specifically excluded

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

They should not rebuild or sell the lot just leave that eye soar there .

Donny Cox
Donny Cox

If I was all the business owners I'd leave Ferguson and never look back.. to the Ferguson cop and Ferguson P.D. hang in there!!

Larry Hood
Larry Hood

By The Numbers: 93 Percent of Protesters Arrested Monday Night Aren't From Ferguson By Lindsay Toler Wed., Aug. 20 2014 at 9:45 AM 75 Comments Categories: Crime, Michael Brown PoliceArrestBystanders.JPG Danny Wicentowski Police arrest protesters in Ferguson Monday night. Of the 52 people arrested by St. Louis County police in Ferguson during protests Monday night and early Tuesday morning, only four are from Ferguson. Most were arrested on the charge of refusal to disperse, says St. Louis County Police spokesman officer Brian Schellman. Police arrested one person on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, two for having active warrants or failing to appear at a court date, and one for interfering with a law-enforcement officer. Another 47 people were arrested during protests Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the New York Times, though demonstrations were much more peaceful than the night of gunshots and tear gas that rocked Ferguson on Tuesday. See RFT coverage of Monday night: -After Forcing Ferguson Protesters to March in Confined Protest Area, Tear Gas Again -PHOTOS: Police Restraint Tested in Ferguson -Amnesty International: "A Human-Rights Crisis" in Ferguson Here's a breakdown of the people arrested between 8 a.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday: From the state of Missouri: Florissant, MO (7) Ferguson, MO (4) Jennings, MO (2) Flordell Hills, MO (1) Creve Coeur, MO (1) Hazelwood, MO (1) Bel-Ridge, MO (1) City of St. Louis, MO (15) Unincorporated St. Louis County (6) From outside of Missouri: Washington, D.C. (1) Illinois (4) Maryland (1) California (1) Virginia (1) New York (4) Alabama (1) Texas (1) "It is of note that 93 percent of those arrested were not Ferguson residents," Schellman says. "Of all those arrested, 27 percent were not residents of Missouri."

Nathan Tarbell
Nathan Tarbell

Melissa, you're on the "hunt for justice" yet you clearly support Wilson. But what if that's not justice? What if justice doesn't fit your preconceived notions? Or are you just stupid?

John Nevettie
John Nevettie

CEO is pussy!!! A mixture of people did this to their store, otherwise go back to bury your fucking head in the sand...

John Nevettie
John Nevettie

You have to see the evidence to have an informed opinion.

Krystol D. Trice
Krystol D. Trice

That QT will not be rebuilt. There is another one down the street on West Florissant that was built a few months ago.

John Nevettie
John Nevettie

The black video creator has a different take on it than you do...

Krystol D. Trice
Krystol D. Trice

The protests in Ferguson are not because someone white killed a black person. It is about the police using excessive force and abusing their power.

Krystol D. Trice
Krystol D. Trice

There are such protests. Black communities have gatherings to address the crimes in there neighborhoods all the time. They just don't make national news. They really don't do much help. Outsiders' responses to these community protests are to blame the residents for the crimes for supposedly not turning in the criminals, as if all black people telepathically know each other. The only people who attend these protests are law-biding residents and community leaders. The criminals do not learn anything from them because they don't attend. There are either in jail or hiding from police. BTW, do whites protest white-on-white crime, or is that just called crime?

Laura Miller
Laura Miller

One troubling comment that I saw randomly on a different article still has me pausing for thought, it said something similar to this: Why do people loot? It's because the value of 'stuff' to white people is more important than a dead boy in the street. If the looting didn't happen would anyone have showed up at all to cover this story? If the looting didn't happen, would the white community have noticed at all? - I still have chills after reading that post, and worse was the poster correct? If the QT hadn't burned ... what would the story be? I agree that violence has no place in civilized society. But are we a civilized society? And does a Footlocker, or QT matter more to us than the people that are our neighbors. Before you comment, think hard - really hard.

Pwnzorrz
Pwnzorrz

I'd like to know more about the real victim in all of this; Ferguson Market and Liquor.  Poor guy was victimized twice in all of this (that we know about).

Sasha Spirit
Sasha Spirit

Right wrong or in different, those businesses need to rebuild in that neighborhood. They need to show support of the community. Those same business that were caught up in this unfortunate incident are the same businesses that have survived for years making money off of the people in that community. I don't condone the violence and looting. The stores will lose nothing. They have insurance!

Tiffany Aleashea Thompson
Tiffany Aleashea Thompson

Those protesters were trying to start some bullshit...that's like 2 pretty little dear strolling into the jungle with the lions...guaranteed if they took they protest to channel 5 that wouldn't have gotten removed, but arrested...I don't understand why people want to fan the fire which is what the Wilson's supporters were doing....

Erik Olsen
Erik Olsen

The looting of the newer Ferguson location and the location on New Halls just north of 270 makes me wonder what it will be like when they close down those additional locations.

AriD2385
AriD2385

@meadowlarkblue QT just built one of its new super stores up the road, which may be why the CEO can be so copacetic about this store's fate.

spacestevie
spacestevie

No, the stores lose everything.  As one poster pointed out earlier, generally Insurance does not cover civil unrest so those businesses will be out everything.  QT is a moderate sized corporation, and if it does rebuild, it will have to invest its own money in the reconstruction of the store.  As such its insurance rates will be higher due to the nature of the activity that has occurred there.  A lot of businesses cannot function in areas of former urban unrest because of the high rates insurance companies charge for their policies.  Therefore, you will see a lot of businesses exit the area simply because it is no longer profitable for them due to high shoplifting rates, insurance and security costs.

AriD2385
AriD2385

@meadowlarkblue And we've come full circle. Read the article. Go about your business and have a good day.

AriD2385
AriD2385

@meadowlarkblue time on social media and more on self reflection. Or, do something productive with your time. Peace.

AriD2385
AriD2385

@meadowlarkblue sweetie, you are entertained by others' misbehavior and misfortune. You troll and play the role of a jester. Spend less

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...