Possibility of new grocery stores opening in east Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — How far do you have to drive to pick up your weekly groceries? For some people in Greensboro, the stores are just up the road from their homes. But others have to drive a few miles to get there.

After weeks of construction, and lots of anticipation, the Trader Joe’s on Battleground Avenue is preparing to open up their doors.

“Greensboro has been excited to have us,” Store Captain Anthony Benson said. “People have been banging on the windows and walking in.”

The store will be one of five on the same road.

“We look for a great neighborhood. We look for somewhere that we feel our customers will be excited to have us,” Benson said.

Trader Joe’s joins now 14 grocery stores, all within a short drive of each other.

But on the other side of town, there are not too many options.

“They want a grocery store over here. The community is asking for it,” Lex Day said.

Day lives in east Greensboro, and says people want the convenience of having grocery stores close to them.

“People don’t understand people spend money here too,” Day said. “You’re trying to drive the money to one spot and not see what can be done somewhere else. It’s like you’re not tapping into all of your resources.”

It’s not so easy.

“First of all, you’ve got to have locations. A grocery store is not a stand-alone store. They’re part of shopping centers. More shopping centers, more grocery stores,” said Mac Sims, president of East Greensboro NOW, a group aimed at building up that area of the city.

“Many of our areas in east Greensboro have been a kind of food desert,” Sims said.

He says it’s been a problem for years, but things are now starting to change.

“There are a couple of grocery stores on our horizon right now,” Sims said. “There’s more emphasis on investing east. I think we have a lot of population growth here, new housing coming this way. There’s a lot of things happening.”

Sims wasn’t able to tell FOX8 where the grocery stores will go or when people can expect them.

FOX8 did learn that the location of the old Renaissance Co-Op is a potential option for a new grocery store.

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