Shoppers react as the only grocery store in ‘heart of NE Wichita’ announces its closing

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The only grocery store in northeast Wichita is going to close in three weeks.

Wichita District 1 Council Member Brandon Johnson posted a message to social media saying that he heard rumors for a couple of weeks that the Save-A-Lot at 13th and Grove might close. He said he visited the store Monday and confirmed the rumors.

“I just confirmed that the only grocery opportunity in the heart of NE Wichita, Save-A-Lot, is closing its doors next month,” Johnson wrote.

KSN reached out to Save-A-Lot to find out why the store is closing. A spokesperson sent us this response:

“We take the decision to close any Save A Lot location very seriously and regularly review our stores on a number of factors,” said Sarah Griffin, director of PR. “As part of this review, we made the difficult decision to forgo the renewal of the lease in our Wichita, KS store located at 2402 East 13th Street and will close the store on July 10. We are grateful to our customers and our team members for their continuous loyalty and support at this location.”

“Not only is this another blow to an area already deprived of access to fresh produce, but it will also cause the loss of job opportunities for our community,” Johnson said. “I know this is not good news, but please know I will continue working until we can provide more access to fresh produce for our community.”

Johnson has been working for more than a year to improve grocery options for the people who live in that area.

Shoppers on Monday reacted to the news. Many say they are disappointed and frustrated.

“Well, I don’t think it’s a good idea for them to close it because you have a lot of people right here in this vicinity that need this grocery store,” said Ruth Whitlowe, Save-A-Lot shopper.

“They keep taking things from us and I don’t know why. To me, it appears that the business is good so there’s a lot of questions on why they’re closing it and so fast,” said Lynetta Andrews, Save-A-Lot shopper.

Once the store closes, the nearest store is miles away. There is a Walmart at 29th and Rock and Dillons locations at Douglas and Hillside, 21st and Rock, and Central and Rock.

“I have transportation but that’s me. There’s thousands of people that don’t have the means to get around,” added Whitlowe.

Johnson added he would like to bring a local store or a Co-op.

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