Local News

Full-service grocery store in downtown Raleigh could be months away

Posted July 8, 2014

— The last full-service grocery store in downtown Raleigh lasted about two years before it went out of business.

That was eight years ago, when there weren't enough people living downtown to support a big grocer.

While convenience stores and smaller grocers remain in the downtown area, the closest full-service stores are at least a couple miles from downtown.

But that could be changing as more people are moving into the downtown area.

"Speculating, I think you're probably 8 to 12 months away from an announcement possibly," Andy Ellen, president of the North Carolina Retail Association, said Tuesday.

Ellen says that although population numbers are important, there are other factors that grocers have to consider before moving to the area.

"They have to make sure that customers are coming to fill an entire basket – as you would think of in a supermarket – rather than people coming in to get one or two items in order to make that location work."

A grocery store also needs enough land for big trucks to make several deliveries a day – land that's in short supply.

Earlier this year, local chef Scott Crawford left The Umstead in Cary and announced plans to open a restaurant and what's been described as a high-end grocery store at Person Street Plaza.

It's expected to open in the fall.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jul 9, 2014

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    But then, the caliber of much of the poor who do live down there aren't upstanding citizens that one can trust not to shoplift either.

  • travistarrant Jul 9, 2014

    Oooh, a "High End" grocery store to come to downtown Raleigh. I wonder what the people who live in and around downtown who can't afford a high end grocery store are to do?

  • Lamborghini Mercy Jul 9, 2014

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    There lies the problem... you guys are STUCK 60 years behind the rest of the US. If more people are living downtown and million dollar condos are being built its kind of hard to pitch a deal if they're not convenient to basic things such as a grocery store.

  • ThomasL Jul 9, 2014

    As for small grocery stores there were two mom and pop ones that served the Dix Hill homes across western blvd to the right of central prison.One is now a home as it was between them to begin with and the other over near the deli that has changed names many times at last it was magoos or something like that.It had a full meat counter in the back.Has anyone taken the old brewery over,it could be used as a small grocery store right in the middle of town if money permitted.

  • recontwice Jul 9, 2014

    Too bad Raleigh govt doesnt try to improve the rest of city as much as they do downtown for the yuppies!!

  • Kelly Birdsall Jul 9, 2014
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    Heaven forbid people have to go 2 miles to get to the grocery store! What do they think things were like 60+ years ago???

  • Ginger Lynn Jul 9, 2014
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  • oakcitynative Jul 9, 2014

    Why does it have to be a goliath sized store? Why can't there be several smaller stores? I googled 'small grocery store chains for urban areas' & it turned up an article (http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/cooltownstudios/23691/sizing-down-next-gen-urban-grocery-stores-2011) breaking down grocery sizes into 4 categories:

    - under 5000 SF
    - 5000 - 15000 SF
    - 20000 - 40000 SF
    - 50000 and up

    Seems easier to squeeze a smaller store in a few places; smaller trucks to supply them, & if they're the same kind of store they can do multiple stops.

    I live downtown & loved having Capital City Grocery here. It was, as mentioned very poorly managed, & tried to be everything BUT a grocery store. We just need a BASIC grocery: fresh fruits & veggies, dairy, meat/fish selection & normal everyday staples like soda, tea/coffee, canned goods, bread/cereal, & soaps.

    It doesn't have to have a sushi bar or exotic yak cheese from South America.

  • a-moment-of-truth Jul 9, 2014

    Downtown is Salisbury St. to Hammond Road interchange. Anything past that used to be GARNER. Person St. is CENTRAL RALEIGH. I know it well. I went to Broughton. My daughter goes to Emma Conn. Central Raleigh is Person St, that part of Glenwood, Peace, St. Mary’s, Glascawk (censor), Cameron Village etc. Oakwood and surrounding areas which INCLUDES parts of Person St. is central Raleigh. The Person St. Plaza that is right behind where Halifax Court used to be and Peace College? Where this store is going? Central Raleigh.

  • Arthur Raleigh Jul 9, 2014
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    Where is downtown? The original plot of Raleigh is in the square between the streets named after the four compass points -East, West, South, and North Streets? You can't have a grocery store on every corner like a Walgreen's! There is not room!