published Monday, July 25th, 2011

Kroger no longer interested in Ringgold


by Andy Johns

Kroger is no longer interested in Ringgold, Ga., or anywhere else in the Chattanooga area.

A company spokesman confirmed that the Cincinnati-based grocer had been “tentatively exploring an opportunity to open a new store in Ringgold.” Local officials say they had offered as much as $900,000 in incentives, but now everyone says the deal is dead.

“At this time, Kroger has no plans in the Chattanooga market,” said Glynn Jenkins, a spokesman in Kroger’s Atlanta regional office.

Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger called the decision “unfortunate” but said he had heard the grocery chain was looking elsewhere even before tornadoes devastated the town on April 27.

“The storm couldn’t have had any effect because it hadn’t happened yet,” he said.

In June 2010, city and Catoosa County officials said they were in talks with Kroger to build a store at the corner of Pine Grove Road and Battlefield Parkway in Ringgold.

Officials anticipated Kroger would have added considerable tax revenue to city and county coffers and that residents would have benefited from the new jobs.

In September, Catoosa County offered to fund about $777,000 in drainage and sewer work while Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold would have paid shares of an additional $127,000. Officials said they were told Kroger was considering a 90,000-square-foot store with 170 employees, but made it clear nothing was ever finalized.

“We’ve met all of their conditions,” Barger said.

Jenkins would not elaborate on what factors went into Kroger’s decision, but clarified the company is not breaking any commitments.

“Nothing was final and merely under review and consideration,” he said.

Kroger’s nearest stores to Chattanooga are in Dalton and Calhoun, Ga. In Tennessee, Kroger operates stores in Tullahoma, Decherd, Crossville and McMinnville as well as several in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis.

Catoosa County Commissioner Bobby Winters, who represents the area where the store would have been built, said people in Catoosa would be disappointed at the news.

“A lot of us wanted the Kroger,” Winters said.

He remained hopeful that Kroger or another big retailer would see things differently when consumer confidence returns.

“It’s a bad economy,” Winters said. “That’s what I’m understanding it’s all about.”

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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Astropig said...

I'm one Catoosa resident who's not disappointed. These jokers in government were about to hand off a cool million of our tax money to a giant company that is among the most profitable in its industry.These idiots were going to bribe Kroger to set up shop and take money out of the community and ship it to the mothership in Cincinnati instead of reinvesting it here. When they subsidized Costco, look what happened -tax revenues actually fell ,while local businesses (that were not subsidized by working families tax monies) had to compete with one of the largest companies in America.This is how stupid our elected leaders are. If they would ever pick up a real book or read a real business publication they would realize that these handouts hurt both the giver (tax payers) and the taker (welfare queen companies that come to depend on them).

If Kroger had opened on the parkway ,one of the BiLo stores probably would have closed. You would have seen these smarmy politicians cutting ribbons at Kroger ,but you sure wouldn't see them at the "store closing" sale posing for pictures."Store Closing" sales are what you get when the government favors one competitor over another.

Stay away Kroger.Take your high prices and dirty stores and just go somwhere else.

July 25, 2011 at 6:53 a.m.
mrredskin said...

whatever happened to businesses like this paying their own way into a market? VW is a little different since that triggers other industries to compliment them, but a grocery store?!? come ahhhhn.

i can't blame kroger, tho... i'm sure they're trying to help pay for Paul Brown Stadium

July 25, 2011 at 7:53 a.m.
Salsa said...

Get a Publix instead. Its way better than Bi-Lo.

July 25, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.

Kroger closed a store in Athens, Tennessee years ago because of unions. What the area needs is low priced market(s) with quality and pride in what they sell. Times are tough in our area and the larger stores have to realize that money will eventually win out to who charges the least. Unless you're a politician, medical professional or attorney in SE TN/N GA, you don't have a lot of disposable income.

July 25, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
mrredskin said...

HLT:

Not true all the time. I will pay a few dollars more per grocery shopping experience by going to Ingles than W-M mostly due to the crowds and the service. Unfortunately it boils down to those two or FL in Athens since Bi-Lo and Kroger are no more.

Well, it IS home to UGO, as well...

Plus you get double manuf coupons and no hell over using an internet coupon at most of the true grocers.

We won't even go into the clientele debate...

W-M's fruit is always pretty disgusting, too.

July 25, 2011 at 3:03 p.m.
callison said...

Anyone else think that reporter is a stone-cold fox?

July 25, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Hey Astro...yeah...it would be terrible if one of the Bilo's that are literally less than a mile away from each other closed down so they could build a grocery store somewhere else on 2A...that would just be horrible!

July 25, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
memphisexile said...

Count yourselves lucky, Kroger is awful.

July 25, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
artbyshan said...

ROAGMAT said...

Is anyone really interested in that Steaming Pile of Excrement known as Ringgold?

  • Stay classy ROAGMAT !
July 25, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.
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