INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been an establishment for 66 years, but the Broad Ripple Kroger will shut down for good in a month.
“I think everyone is just shocked that our little grocery store is closing,” says Colleen Fanning with the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA).
The grocery chain made the announcement Tuesday, saying that all of their nearly 40 employees would be allowed to transfer to another location. Kroger insists the closure is not COVID-19 related, but that the spot has been unprofitable for years.
The BRVA says the main concern now is keeping the vacant parking lot safe once the business leaves.
“We have definitely had issues of gunshots recently late at night, early in the morning,” said Fanning. “The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is aware of that, and the neighborhood is aware of that.”
Fanning added that developers have already shown interest in the property.
“Broad Ripple is kind of Indianapolis’ original cultural district,” explained Fanning, “We have been an economic generator for Indianapolis to the tune of over $80 million a year for many, many years.”
The hope is the building won’t remain vacant for an extended period of time like many of the Marsh locations have.
“During COVID, we have seen more of a demand for these goods, but they are shopping at big box stores like Costco or Walmart. They tend to absorb a lot of market share from traditional grocery stores like Kroger,” said Michael Hicks, director for Business and Economic Research at Ball State. “It also means when they close there is not a quick replacement for them in that community.”
The size of a closed grocery store building can also pose issues when it comes to occupying it with a new tenant.
“What we have seen in some of the closed grocery stores are maybe convenient locations for some health care services. They have a large parking lot, and a very flexible interior,” Hicks said.
The BRVA says it’s too early to speculate what may take its place.