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Brookhaven needs a grocery alternative

Store closures are not uncommon, especially as online shopping takes more from brick-and-mortar businesses, but Brookhaven has been hit by more than its share lately.

With both Fred’s locations now slated to close, the city will have two more large, commercial properties sitting empty. And both are in prime locations.

The two Piggly Wiggly buildings are in the same situation: large, empty spaces in desirable locations.

The Fred’s stores employ dozens of people who will soon be without work.

The Retail Coach, a business recruitment firm under contract with the city and county, is working to fill those buildings. We hope the company is successful.

Brookhaven will be just fine without another dollar store, but the city needs a grocery alternative to Walmart. Not because Walmart is not a good grocery store, but because it is not where everyone wants to buy food. Some people simply prefer a dedicated grocery store.

The lack of one would be a black eye for the city. Vibrant, thriving communities typically have alternatives to Walmart.

We know there are several people in the community working to bring a grocery to town, and we encourage them to keep working. Economic development is a team sport, and Brookhaven needs as many players on the field as it can find.

We are hopeful that the city, its proximity to the interstate and Hwy. 84, and its thousands of potential customers will be appealing to a grocery company looking for a new market. We can’t imagine Brookhaven not being the right fit for someone.

And we hope when an opportunity presents itself, those in a position to strike a deal work hard to make that happen.