Consider the following local news stories, presented in order.
Kroger closing Roselawn store
April 16, 2010
Kroger announced Friday afternoon that it would close the store in Roselawn's Hillcrest Shopping Center that it has operated for more than 25 years... The store's last day will be April 25.
The Hillcrest location lost more than $1 million in 2009 and its shopper base has declined significantly over the last decade... research showed that 75 percent of the shoppers in that neighborhood already visited one of its other nearby stores.
To continue to provide grocery access to those customers who had shopped at the Hillcrest store, Kroger will partner with Metro to provide bus tokens for those shoppers to visit the Norwood or Hartwell locations... Kroger places no restrictions on its property at Hillcrest, wrote Shaffer. It is willing to negotiate with other grocery stores that may want to occupy the space and use the equipment... All associates will be offered positions at other Kroger stores.
Neighbors, Councilman Denounce Store Closure
April 17, 2010
Backed by several residents of Bond Hill, Cincinnati city councilman Cecil Thomas spoke out against the forthcoming closure of the Hillcrest Kroger store Saturday... [which saw] fewer customers over the last several years and that in 2009 it lost more than one million dollars...
"I don't buy this reason, 'Well this store is losing a lot of money,'" said Thomas. "I believe that this store is losing a lot of money because it's intentional to get the people to go somewhere else... If they would have made this a super-store, then you would have people coming here, spending their dollars rather than driving several miles," continued Thomas.
Community protests Kroger closing
April 19, 2010
Kroger's decision to close its Roselawn store could hurt residents' health over the long haul, some community activists argue... Kroger announced Friday that the Hillcrest Shopping Center store will close Sunday, leaving Roselawn without a supermarket. Company officials blamed a loss of more than $1 million last year at that store, and an eroding customer base.
But Dwight Tillery, CEO of the Center for Closing the Health Gap in Avondale, said profit shouldn't be the only issue when basic services are at stake.
"What we're looking at here is a pattern of major grocers are abandoning the inner city neighborhoods which happen to be primarily minority people and poor people and elderly people," Tillery said. "This has to be more than, 'We're not meeting our bottom line,' because food, like water, is essential to the health and wellbeing of our residents. You're losing something that is very critical to people's survival."
Obesity and related health problems are higher in neighborhoods where people don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Tillery said.
...Rachael Betzler, a spokeswoman for Kroger, said the company will offer free bus tokens for customers of the Roselawn store who switch to their nearby Norwood or Hartwell stores... She cited the store's profit loss, as well as company data showing that 75 percent of customers at the Hillcrest store have already started shopping at other Kroger stores.
...Cincinnati Councilman Cecil Thomas wants to hear from residents at the April 29 meeting. He also plans to bring up the food desert issue before the council's Quality of Life Committee...
In a nutshell, Kroger is closing a store in an area of Cincinnati that suffers from high levels of violent crime. Not only did it lose $1 million last year, but a friend in the business told me that their are high levels of shrinkage (shoplifting) in the area.
Not only that, but Thriftway closed a bunch of stores in nearby areas a few years back that served many poor white and Hispanic folks. Same issue, no controversy.
So in that light consider the quote from a black, Democratic member of city council:
"I don't buy this reason, 'Well this store is losing a lot of money... I believe that this store is losing a lot of money because it's intentional to get the people to go somewhere else."
Yet another example of Democratic demagoguery that promotes an entitlement mentality and blesses self-destructive behavior.
Would you expect anything else from a Democrat?
If obesity will be a problem due to the lack of fresh fruits/vegetables maybe Kroger should dispense with providing free bus tokens and the people can walk to the closest grocery.
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