Santa Catalina, the island of romance, has a population of 3,600 or so, 3,500 of whom live in the tiny city of Avalon. As of 1997, Avalon had two grocery stores -- a big Vons supermarket, and a little mom-and-pop joint called Fred and Sally's. The next year, Fred and Sally closed shop. The year after that, Vons opened a mini-outlet called Vons Express in the same location. So what did the state of California do?
Under terms of the proposed federal consent decree filed Wednesday, the Santa Catalina Island Co., which owns the building that Vons Express leases as well as 70 percent of all property in the one-square-mile city, would have to find a new grocer for the location. A judge must still approve the settlement. [...]
As part of the settlement, Vons must pay $60,000 to the City of Avalon "to be used for the benefit of consumers who purchased grocery store products in Avalon," the consent decree states. Vons must also pay $25,000 to the state to pay for the investigation.