Requiem for a Grocery Store
Folks, the grocery store closest to my house — the Pick N Save on Rapids Drive in Racine, Wisconsin — will be closing on June 26, 2015.
This is bad news for anyone in Racine, but most particularly for those living near Horlick High School.
I’ve known the store would close since mid-April of this year. I kept meaning to write a blog to talk about what this store means to me…and time got away.
Granted, I’ve been busy writing and editing. (And gladly so.)
But I didn’t want yet another neighborhood grocery store to go belly up in Racine because of our horrible economy without trying to say something about why I liked the store — and why I want it to stay open.
First, the Rapids Plaza Pick N Save is a neighborhood store. 75% of their clientele is comprised of foot traffic.
(In case you’re wondering, this is the store — this particular store, the Rapids Plaza Pick N Save — I walked to when my car was out for 52 days last year.)
Second, the employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and remember you. They ask about your family as if they truly care. And if you need a coupon, they’ll find one for you…they don’t turn their noses up and refuse to work over there, unlike some stores I’ve been in up in Milwaukee (and elsewhere).
And third…well, I used to work at this store, years back. I cashiered, stocked shelves, was the assistant dairy and frozen foods person for a while…I worked in nearly every aspect of the store, from produce to deli to health and beauty. (Heck, even floral — and trust me, I wasn’t that great, but they were desperate.)
Fourth…well, there aren’t any grocery stores for at least three miles in any direction. So if you don’t have a car and the buses have stopped running for the day but you need milk or bread, you will be out of luck after June 26, 2015.
There is perhaps a hint of good news on the horizon, if you believe in the scuttlebutt I picked up earlier today. Apparently Wal-mart, which has wanted to expand for a while now (Caledonia vetoed a proposed site in late 2013, if memory serves), is looking into buying the entirety of Rapids Plaza.
If Wal-mart comes in, at least there would be a neighborhood store to walk to…and the employees will have a chance (a very strong chance) to be hired on.
As it stands, though, the Pick N Save on Rapids Dr. will be closing on June 26. No one can stop it. There’s no way to change it.
It’s completely nonsensical, and I really had wanted to mount some sort of grassroots campaign to get a Woodman’s into Racine as I felt they’d know exactly what to do with this store.
But if the Wal-mart does come in, and if they do a good job, perhaps all is not lost.
We who live close to Horlick High School can hope for that.