Wanted: grocer

December 30, 2012 

It’s been tough, on everybody, this attempt to create a well-stocked, dependable, neighborhood grocery store in Southeast Raleigh, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. When the Kroger opened 10 years ago, there was a generous serving of optimism that the store would bring in other development. For that to happen a grocery store is a must. (It’s one of the concerns about future development in downtown.)

Alas, the Kroger is closing, and not for a lack of trying. Though some in Southeast Raleigh complain that no one saw this coming, a national supermarket analyst defended Kroger as a responsible corporate citizen that didn’t do things without giving them a fair chance. And this Kroger, according to the company, lost $1.5 million last year alone. That couldn’t continue.

The area tends to be low-income, and a good number of customers don’t have transportation of their own, so they walk or come on buses or in cabs.

What now? The city of Raleigh should try to generate some ideas, perhaps a partnership with someone who might be willing to come in with a smaller store, or expanding bus trips, or helping with an effort to get the word out. One area of the city should not suffer a void when it comes to necessities.

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