MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The only grocery store in a local neighborhood is closing its doors, leaving a huge void in the community.
The Save-A-Lot grocery store in Binghamton is set to close June 30 after opening its doors only two years ago.
The next closest affordable grocery story is the Kroger off Union Avenue in Midtown, but that’s more than three miles away, making Binghamton a food desert for the second time in the past decade.
LLeah Knox told FOX13 she shops at Save-A-Lot in Binghampton.
“We were so happy to get rid of our food desert and now it’s about to be deserted again,” she said.
Knox said the store’s closing will be a big hit to the community, forcing many to go several miles out of the neighborhood to access fresh food.
“There are a lot of folks in our community who are older and they’re dependent on rides, or even public transportation and now we’re coming into the summer and even food shortages are happening now,” Knox said.
The Binghampton closure comes after numerous Save-A-Lot closures nationwide.
A representative for the Binghamton Development Corporation told FOX13 a recent study by a national wholesale grocer revealed that the Save-A-Lot offering “failed to tap into the full market potential at this location.”
“We can no longer just fill up the corridors of Midtown or the Poplar Corridor or Downtown,” said Pastor Keith Norman. “We have to spread the resources around.”
Norman is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church-Broad just down the street from the Save-A-Lot.
He said he met with the Binghamton Development Corporation to find another vendor for the space. He said he sees the closure as a new opportunity for the community.
“What we can do to save this particular opportunity or create a new opportunity but we’re going to need banks, city assistance, we’re going to need assistance from many people and help put the essential need that we have for the community,” said Norman.
The Binghampton Development Corporation owns the building, and a representative for the group said negotiations are already underway for this space.
In the meantime, when this grocery store closes next week, Pastor Norman says his church will help provide food to those who need it.
A Save-A-Lot spokesperson sent FOX13 the following statement:
We take the decision to close any Save A Lot location very seriously. We regularly review our stores on a number of factors, including financial performance as well as strategic alignment with long-term plans. Unfortunately, as a result of this review, we will be closing our store in the Binghampton shopping center on June 30. We are grateful to our customers for their loyal support in this location. Our team members, some of whom will transfer, look forward to continuing to serve customers at one of our 8 remaining stores in the Memphis area.
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