Shelby Park laments closing of Save-A-Lot

The defunct Save-A-Lot on Shelby Street. | Photo by Darla Carter

Some people who live or work near the Save-A-Lot in Shelby Park are lamenting its sudden closure, which appears to be fallout from a bankruptcy filing of its owner.

The business at 1311 S. Shelby St. shut its doors for good this week, leaving people in the low-income community reeling.

Nachand Trabue | Courtesy

“It’s just one of those things that happened and it’s out of their control, I guess, and it’s out of our control and we’ve just got to live with it,” said Nachand Trabue, executive director of the Bates Community Development Corp. on South Jackson Street.

Buehler Inc. and Buehler LLC, which operate 15 groceries in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, announced the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing this week, according to a news release.

“While the decision to pursue restructuring through bankruptcy was extremely difficult, the company believes this step is necessary to preserve value as competition in the industry continues to increase,” according to the Buehler release.

The company added that “the majority of stores will remain open, although there will be some store closings impacting underperforming locations. The companies employees will be paid, and goods and services purchased by the company going-forward will be paid for in the ordinary course of business.”

Victor Rucker, who was walking past the Save-A-Lot building on Wednesday, said: “It’s a shame it’s closed. It’s been around a long time.”

The Shelby Park store is about a two-minute drive from a Kroger store on Goss Avenue and ground was broken on the Logan Street Market in May, but losing the Save-A-Lot still poses a burden for some residents.

Louis Small said he would like a full-service grocery store to replace the defunct Save-A-Lot. | Photo by Darla Carter

Other groceries in the area have closed in the last seven years, Trabue said, adding, “It makes it a problem for the community to be able to have access to foods that’s needed, and a lot of our community members don’t even have transportation, so they have to walk.”

Louis Small, who was en route from a convenience store on Preston, said he’d like for a full-service grocery to replace the defunct Save-A-Lot.

“We really needed that” grocery, said Small, pausing near a church at Oak and Clay streets. “You look around; ain’t nothing here but liquor stores.”

Trabue said she would like to see a grocery with fresh produce and other fresh items, not a convenience store “that has majority alcohol and maybe then one banana on the counter. That’s not what we want.”