Local News

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

Posted July 8, 2014 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2014 7:02 p.m. EDT

— 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.