Green River Star -

GR needs another grocery store

 


We realize we might be beating a dead horse with this, but think about another grocery store in Green River.

Yes, that survey conducted by the now-defunct Sweetwater Economic Development Agency argued Green River could not support another grocery store, but let’s suppose we walked away with the wrong interpretation.

At face value, it appears Green River residents have a number of options for their grocery needs. Yet, a majority of those “options” were actually convenience stores -- places residents wouldn’t do a bulk of their grocery shopping.

The argument is Rock Springs has three major grocery stores and people from Green River can simply drive to Rock Springs and get their groceries there if they don’t want to shop at the local Smith’s Food and Drug.

Going back to that survey, getting rid of the convenience stores and looking at it in a different light, it would seem Rock Springs is the city struggling with over saturation, not Green River. In fact, it would be in Rock Springs’ economic interest to keep Green River from getting a second grocery. If a second store opened in Green River, it would hurt Rock Springs’ economy as fewer Green River residents would travel for their groceries.

Kroger has quite the monopoly in Green River, owning the Smith’s Food and Drug, along with the three Loaf ‘N Jug convenience stores throughout the city, so they’re not interested in opening another store. However, opportunity still exists, especially for a chain like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s; stores focusing on an unserved demographic in Sweetwater County.

With that in mind, one would think someone representing Green River would be writing letters, emails and making phone calls to executives, explaining the benefits of expanding into the city. Unfortunately, Green River doesn’t have anyone in the city doing that kind of work for it.

With Flaming Gorge Way currently host to a number of buildings with the words “for sale” or “for rent” in front of them, the introduction of a grocery store would be the first step in revitalizing the whole area. We can’t think of a better opportunity for the city, and one someone at Main Street or the Green River Chamber of Commerce should capitalize on soon.

If not, it might not be that long before we’re told about the grand opening of a new Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s in Rock Springs, which would hurt our local economy even more.

 

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