IT’S A SAD sign of the times.
Valle’s Supermarket, the neighborhood grocery store on Third Street, is closing down next month. Owner Mike Valle doesn’t have a firm date in mind yet but he’s selling off the inventory and expects to be out of business before the first of the year.
“The last three years have been tough,” he says. “We just can’t make it. The big stores are taking over.”
How can a small market like Valle’s compete with Meijer, Walmart, Econo, and Super One? Just about impossible. The little guy can offer convenience and friendly, neighborhood employees, but not much else. Certainly not consistently competitive pricing.
Exhibit A: On Sunday, Meijer was offering turkeys at 37 cents a pound. A 17 pound turkey came to a grand total of $6.47. How do you compete with that?
At Meijer, you have a horde of shoppers filling their baskets and spending $100-$200 per visit. At Valle’s, it’s the occasional shopper stopping off to pick up a half gallon of milk, a box of cereal or a couple of pork chops.
Still, it’s undeniably a loss for the Third Street neighborhood. There are still a few party stores, but for any more substantial purchases, you’ll have to get in your car and head out to the highway.
What’s next for Valle’s location? Unknown.
Maybe a new coffee shop.
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