Gastonia loses a grocery store in the FUSE district, where food is scarce
A grocery store serving an area of food shortage in downtown Gastonia for nine years will close its doors for good next week.
Save A Lot, located next to CaroMont Health Park in the reinvigorated FUSE neighborhood, will close its store in the 800 block of West Franklin Boulevard at the end of the day on October 2.
Moran Foods, which lists a mailing address in Indianapolis, owns the 12,800 square foot building, which was constructed in 1954. Moran Foods purchased the property for $ 412,000 in 2011, but it now has a tax value of over $ 837,000, depending on the county. records.
The Missouri grocery chain provided few details on why it decided to close one of the few grocery stores in that region.
“We take the decision to close any Save A Lot store very seriously and regularly review our stores on a number of factors,” Save A Lot spokesperson Sarah Griffin said in an email. “As part of this review, we made the difficult decision to close our Gastonia store. The seven employees were offered severance pay based on their position and seniority.
The company has given no indication of what could become of the building, now located in an area where the city of Gastonia and private developers have invested tens of millions of dollars in recent years.
For some, however, the closure of Save A Lot exacerbates concerns about the availability of a neighborhood store to purchase essential groceries and other items.
“I used to live in the mill area and there are a lot of seniors who live here who rely on this economy for their groceries,” said Jamal Gillespie.
Residents have a Walmart Supercenter located 1.8 miles west on North Myrtle School Road, a short drive but a 40-minute one-way walk for those without a vehicle.
“It certainly wouldn’t be nice if this place wasn’t replaced with another dining option,” said Gillespie. “I think it would be better if there was another affordable grocery store here.”
If it’s not a grocery store, maybe a new restaurant, said Yvonne Stamper, who suggested a Chick-fil-A would be a nice addition at this end of town.
“These lines are always busy,” Stamper said. “We could use more.”
City officials also have concerns for the building and area residents who depended on the grocery store for food, said City Councilor Robert Kellogg.
“We know this is an area where food is scarce and many city councils have tried to find a grocery store to accommodate the area,” Kellogg said.
City officials plan to contact Retail Coach, a national recruiting company, to possibly find another grocery store as a replacement.
“Since the land is private property, we can’t force anyone to do anything, but we encourage retail businesses to look into this area,” Kellogg said.
The Save A Lot brand has approximately 1,000 locations in 32 states, including nine in North Carolina.
Save A Lot will also close other stores in North Carolina.
“We are closing our three corporate sites in Gastonia, Eden and Kannapolis in October,” said Sarah Griffin, media representative for Save A Lot. “All other stores are operated by independent license owners.”
The store plans to continue normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. until its last day on October 2.
Contact Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or firstname.lastname@example.org