Impact of Ukrop's sale on smaller businesses

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

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We have an update on the Ukrop's sale to Ahold's Giant-Carlisle division. While many customers are worried about services, people who own businesses next to Ukrop's stores are weighing in on their shop's future.

The owner of Game Stop in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center on Forest Hill Avenue says he knows when Ukrop's is not open.

"It is somewhat slow and I think if they were open Sunday it would be a lot better for us," said Jonathan Couldrey, Game Stop store manager.

His sentiments are shared by several small business owners in the same shopping center. Ukrop's is one of their anchor stores

Woody Maiden has run the Sprint cell phone store for five years. He says if the new owners decide to open on Sundays his weekend foot traffic would more than double.

"You don't see very many people on Sundays, but the traffic load they bring into the shopping center during the week is very good. And I think it will help all the tenants overall on the weekends," Maiden said.

Even the local wine shop owners want to see the stores open on Sunday. And they don't seem to be worried if the new chain also decides to sling booze in the river city.

"No big deal. No big deal at all. We don't do the same thing they do," said Wayne Thornton.

Wayne Thornton operates three Private Stock Cigar and Wine Company stores. He opened two of them in Ukrop's shopping centers because the chain did not sell alcohol.

"That was one of the reasons but since then all the other grocery stores have wine. Kroger and all them right by here. It hasn't affected us at all. We have good customer service. We know what we're doing. We take care of the customers. We're a neighborhood store. Know everybody's name," Thornton said.

The Ukrop's sale to Ahold becomes official January first. The new owners say no final decisions have been made about what changes will happen at the Ukrop's stores. Though it's believed they will become Martin's Food Markets.

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