UPDATE: More Retailers Reject 'Rolling Stone' Issue Featuring Bombing Suspect

Published in CSP Daily News

Tedeschi, Cumberland Farms, 7-Eleven, Rutter's, Casey's among c-store chains not carrying issue

UPDATE, July 18: More convenience retailers have officially announced that they will not carry the issue:

  • Casey's General Stores Inc., Ankeny, Iowa, said it will not place the magazine on its shelves, vice president and chief financial officer Bill Walljasper told The Des Moines Register.
  • Rutter's Farm Stores Inc., York, Pa., which operates approximately 60 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, said on its Facebook page: "We will be pulling the recent issue of Rolling Stone with the alleged Boston bomber from our magazine racks out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones." Suzanne Cramer, social media manager for the chain, told The York Daily Record,"We really felt the image was in poor taste and portrayed the suspect as a rock star. The focus of it was placed on the terrorist and not the victims or the heroic first responders that were there. ... Rutter's is a private and family-owned company. We strive to live and breathe our core values ... We believe this was the right decision to make."
  • United Supermarkets LLC--which operates nearly 60 stores including seven United Express convenience stores--announced it will not sell the August issue of Rolling Stone in any of its stores. "This was an easy business decision for us," said Robert Taylor, CEO of United Supermarkets, Lubbock, Texas. "To do anything that would glorify terrorist behavior simply goes against what our company stands for."
  • Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. has issued the following statement: "7-Eleven Inc. will not sell the Aug. 1 issue of the Rolling Stone magazine and will urge our franchisees to consider doing likewise."

ROCKLAND, Mass.-- Convenience retailer Tedeschi Food Shops Inc. was one of the first retailers to balk at music and popular culture magazine Rolling Stone's controversial decision to feature alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on its cover in a way usually reserved for bad-boy rock stars. Other retailers, including Cumberland Farms, CVS, Duane Reade, Kmart, Rite Aid, Roche Bros. and Walgreens, have also stated that they will not display or sell the issue.

In a Facebook post, Rolling Stone defended its decision to feature the bombing suspect--who has pleaded not guilty to the bombing with his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev (later killed by police), on April 15 that killed three people and injured at least 264 more--on the cover of its August 1 issue, which hits newsstands on Friday: "Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."--The Editors

The magazine has posted the full text of the cover story, along with the editor's note, on its website.

Rockland, Mass.-based Tedeschi, which operates nearly 200 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, posted a statement early Wednesday morning on its Facebook page: "Tedeschi Food Shops supports the need to share the news with everyone, but cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone. Music and terrorism don't mix!"

In a response to a comment, Tedeschi added, "We have made a personal choice and know that not all other retailers will follow suit. The issue will be available for purchase elsewhere and people will be able to read the story. In our eyes, we believe that the issue should be glorifying the victims who lost their lives that day and not the terrorist. Again, this is just our opinion and hopefully you can respect it."

Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms Inc., with approximately 600 stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, posted this statement on Twitter: "Our stores were instructed to remove the issue of Rolling Stone from all locations this morning."

Other retailers joined with Tedeschi and Cumberland Farms and posted statements on social media:

  • CVS: "CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones."
  • Duane Reade: "Duane Reade will no longer be selling this issue of Rolling Stone magazine."
  • Kmart: A Kmart spokesperson told the Huffington Post that the retailer also will not be selling the issue "out of respect for those impacted by the events of April 15."
  • Rite Aid : "Out of respect to everyone affected by the Boston Marathon bombing, Rite Aid has decided not to sell the latest issue of Rolling Stone." It told the Huffington Post, "The issue is being removed from stores as it arrives from the distributor."
  • Roche Bros: "We have had a number of inquiries today regarding our approach to the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine. When our team learned about the cover image this morning, we chose not to offer that product for sale in our stores. We join with our customers and neighbors in focusing on the recovery of the victims and our community."
  • Shaw's: "Shaw’s has been part of the New England and Boston communities for over 150 years and we understand on a personal level how profoundly the tragedy surrounding the Boston Marathon has affected our associates and customers. Out of respect for the survivors, those who lost their lives and all of their families and friends, we have made the decision to not sell the August issue of Rolling Stone."
  • Walgreens: "Walgreens will not be selling this issue of Rolling Stone magazine."

Other chains reportedly not carrying the issue include Hannaford and Stop & Shop [UPDATE: H-E-B and Hy-Vee.]