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Kroger Donates Former Store to Help Neighborhood

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Credit:  Jacob Steimer, Memphis Business Journal

Credit: Jacob Steimer, Memphis Business Journal

by Jacob Steimer, Memphis Business Journal

Since Kroger closed its Lamar Avenue store 20 months ago, the only grocery options in Orange Mound have been a Save-A-Lot and an Aldi. Residents who have wanted to visit a full-service grocery store have had to make their way to the Kroger on Union, which can take 30 minutes by bus.

“[Residents] have been crying out for the last 20 months because they didn’t have a full-service grocery story in the heart of the community,” Memphis City Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen said. “It’s very difficult to catch a bus with a lot of groceries in hand.”

On Monday, though, Swearengen was smiling wide as she helped announce that Kroger was donating its vacant, former store at 2269 Lamar Ave. to Memphis-based Superlo Foods.

This is the first time in Kroger’s 136-year history that it has donated a building to a competitor, said Kroger Delta Division president Victor Smith.

“[Since arriving in December], I’ve heard a lot about this one important promise we made to the community … to bring a grocer back to historic Orange Mound,” Smith said. “We can drop the competition for a moment.”

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© 2019 American City Business Journals

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