Owner considering selling his Palisade grocery store
As the proprietor of the only independent, locally owned grocery store in the Grand Valley, Kelly Myers is familiar with battles.
For 23 years, the owner of Palisade’s Family Food Town has held his own against the big supermarket chains. Two years ago, to accommodate a new town plaza, Myers shelled out an estimated $80,000 to reconfigure his store and move the entrance off the main thoroughfare through downtown Palisade to what had been the back of the building.
His latest challenge is Dollar General, a national discount retailer slated to open directly across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks from Family Food Town. The Palisade Town Board last month approved the sale of the property to a development company that intends to bring Dollar General to town.
That prospect is one of a few factors that has Myers considering selling the grocery store at 112 W. Third St.
Myers, 57, emphasized Wednesday his hope and preference is to not sell the business and property. But he said he has been thinking about selling since the town built the plaza, and Dollar General’s plans to build a 9,200-square-foot store have reinforced that possibility.
“If they come in, it will definitely cut some of my sales,” Myers said. “They won’t be able to carry the variety I carry. I don’t think they can buy any cheaper than me, but they’ve got deeper pockets.”
Like most businesses, Family Food Town has struggled through the recession. Some of the store’s 16 employees had their hours cut. But Myers said the opening of Dollar General likely would result in the layoffs of some workers and prompt him to cut prices, a move that may help him keep customers but could still harm his bottom line if he has to trim prices too much.
Myers said if he can maintain his current profit level and keep his sales volume close to where it is now after Dollar General opens, that would enhance his ability to sell the store and the land it occupies. But if Dollar General eats too much into his customer base, he may only be able to sell the property.
In that case, he predicts, “Palisade won’t have a grocery store.”
Whatever happens, Myers said a fight launched against Dollar General by a group calling itself Citizens for Smart Growth has revealed to him a level of support for his business he didn’t realize existed.
“I love the people in this town. This is a great town,” he said. “Town Board, that’s another matter.”