Ukrop's sale is in limbo again

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Weekly Trade Magazine Supermarket News is reporting that a private equity group dropped out of the bidding for Ukrop's. The journalist who wrote the story says the buyer couldn't come up with a price.

"All I know from people I talk to in the lending business is that this is a really hard time to get financing," said VCU Marketing Professor David Urban.

Urban says this is the perfect time for Ukrop's to try and sell because the chain's market share is on the decline and there's not really much room for future expansion.

"If you don't have somebody from the younger generation who wants to come in and really grab the bull by the horns and has the fire and ability to want to take the chain to the next level... What's the point," said Urban.

Shoppers seem relieved that Ukrop's is no closer to a buyer.

"Oh yes fantastic. Ukrop's can't go anywhere. They have to stay," said Richmond resident Ashley Pogue.

"I'm relieved. Glad that they are going to stay, hopefully, as a family supermarket. A lot of people shop Ukrop's," Chesterfield resident Randy Barlow said.

Supermarket News is reporting that Ukrop's is back to looking at bidders from earlier rounds. Harris Teeter was originally the front runner, but a source says the chain did not want to buy all of Ukrop's 28 locations. Ukrop's has since announced it is closing its only store outside of Richmond market.

"Harris Teeters' good. It's a good store if they get it. But I would hate to see Ukrop's go. But if it's going to be something, Harris Teeter would be good," said Richmond resident Martha Ryan.

Ukrop's has never commented on the potential sale.

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