Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Grocery Gap Part II

More news today on the Kroger situation in West Dayton..it looks like there is some community activism springing up around the issue. Good to hear this.

A grass-roots group of West Dayton clergy, civil rights and community leaders are calling for an immediate boycott of all Kroger stores.

The call to action came Monday night at a community meeting of about 130 residents at the Westwood Center, where Kroger Company officials answered questions about the closing of their Gettysburg Avenue store.

I also like how they are going to try to quantify the amount spent on food. Though ad-hoc this is conceptually in line with what some of the national retail redlining activists are trying to do:

To prove the buying power of West Dayton residents, all were asked to make copies of their grocery receipts and pass them on to their church secretaries. The receipts will be collected and tabulated at the Wesley Center.

I've been looking at groceries in the area, and there is a dearth of chain supers in West Dayton.

In fact, north to south, between Wolf Creek and German Township, and west of the river to probably New Lebanon….all of West Dayton, Jefferson Township, and the southern parts of Trotwood…. the only national grocery chain (once Kroger closes) is Aldi, in West Town (ironically this is not even a US chain: Aldi is based in Germany).

There are, however, roughly around 30 stores listed in the yellow pages as "groceries" for that area, but I suspect few are true supermarkets with a good selection of produce, meats, etc. A lot are called "carry-outs", which sounds like another name for liquor store.

Another way of looking at this is at the lack of transportation. Here is a map of census tracts where there is a substantial lack of vehicle availability (based on 2000 census SF 4 data available Amercian Factfinder custom tables).

Note that these numbers are very high, higher than one would expect, but explainable in some cases via elderly housing concentrations. Yet also, even at the lower %s, nearly a quarter of some tracts are transit-dependent.
...the next step is to overlay grocery locations on this map.

(The odd way the census looks at this is by connecting vehicle viability to occupied dwelling unit. I guess they could just use vehicle per household and wonder why not)

Here's a few more links on what's happening at the national level. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) sees this as an emerging issue. One of the urban affairs think tanks, Brookings, is apparently doing some policy analyses on the issue:

Check out the ICSC page, with a link to a member survey: what retailers see as issues with urban markets.

The Brookings white paper is a .pdf in the San Francisco Fed’s “Community Development Investment Review”page (if you surf in, check the link list to the right for “Brookings Urban Markets Initiative...”

I think it's appropriate that this issue, one about access to food, is coming up during the Thanksgiving season.


Admin said...

Jeffery watch you facts here. I don't trust Google to have ever grocery store listed. Fot instance on Gettysburg about a mile north of the Kroger location there is a Sava-A-Lot. This national chain is one mentioned as making inroads in urban areas, there are three in Dayton. Also up Hoover (a non chain) is the smaller but popular Estridge Market, a main stay in the neighborhood with a good meat department.

Dayton, OH - Gettysburg Save-A-Lot
2152 North Gettysburg Avenue
Dayton, OH 45406
(937) 277-1007

Anonymous said...

Its interesting that you think Save-A-Lot is a viable substitute to Kroger for this community. Where are the other two Save-A-Lot stores located? Oakwood, Englewood, Kettering...of course not! People in our city deserve to have quality food choices at reasonable cost regardless of their socioecenomic class but if you were to take a tour in any of our lower income neighborhoods you would see that the Carry outs and other stores offer fewer food choices, poorer quality and jacked up prices. I am all for a ban on Kroger and shame on them for abandoning this commmunity! They think their store on Siebenthaler is an adequate alternate location...Absolutely not! They know their client base at that store is largely an elderly population and folks with limited incomes. I would like to see some representatives from Kroger catch an RTA from their Gettysburg location, take it to Siebanthaler, shop for their groceries and then get them back, then think about how easy it was and how viable of an option it really is for our senior citizens. Lets NOT go Krogering!

Admin said...

FYI - The five Save-A-Lot stores in the Dayton area are:

Dayton, OH - Gettysburg Save-A-Lot
2152 North Gettysburg Avenue
Dayton, OH 45406
(937) 277-1007

Dayton Save-A-Lot
4233 North Main Street
Dayton, OH 45405

Fairborn Save-A-Lot
21 East Dayton Yellow Spring Rd.
Fairborn, Ohio 45324

Troy, OH Save-A-Lot
1528 West Main Street
Troy, OH 45373
(937) 339-7030

Franklin Save-A-Lot
110 East 6th Street
Franklin, OH 45005
(937) 746-1114