RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The owner of the Ukrop's grocery store chain is reaching out to his employees and customers. In a short three paragraph letter from Bobby Ukrop warns his employees to avoid taking stock in what can be found in anonymous blog postings and industry chatter, but in the absence of solid information about the company's future, that appears to be all Ukrop's shoppers have to go on.
The chatter regarding his company's future became so fierce that Bobby Ukrop was forced to release this letter to his employees, in an attempt to quell the storm.
It reads in part that, "If anything changes with our company's direction you and our customers will hear it from me."
But it is what Ukrop didn't deny, that there is interest in purchasing the grocery chain that is only spinning the rumor mill out of control, with many longtime customers already assuming its end is not far away.
"I wasn't surprised that people sort of just freaked when the idea that Ukrops just might go away occurred to them," said Robert Sterling a local internet businessman.
It is precisely that reaction that led Sterling to create a trending topic on the social networking site Twitter called "urkopalypse". What started as a joke has turned into an online discussion generating thousands of comments.
"It's the end of the world, it is the end of Ukrop's and people really like Ukrop's apparently," Sterling said.
The trending topic became so popular that other mainstream media outlets began using it a way to get new information out to the most people. It is a story that has Richmonders wondering what could happen next and using the internet as a way to not be left behind.