by Johnesha Harris, Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Rick James, owner of Castle Retail Group, will be turning the recently closed Kroger on Third Street into a Cash Saver in the coming months.
The proposed open date for the Third Street location is set for mid or late August. The initial plan is to advertise the store by delivering ads and sale item pamphlets to people living in the area. James also plans to hold a back-to-school drive for the neighborhood once the store is up and running.
This would be the fifth Cash Saver to open in the city. Established in Memphis, the grocery stores are located in neighborhoods and communities that are not close to other stores such as Kroger, Walmart or Save-A-Lot.
“Our goal is to be the lowest-priced supermarket across the board of any of our competitors,” James said. “While you may find one item in a store on sale that might be lower than us, we believe that if you’re doing your weekly shopping at our stores, if you do end up buying $200 worth of groceries, you’ll save significantly shopping in a Cash Saver.”
James said the grocery stores’ low prices are due, in part, to their wholesalers – Associated Wholesale Grocers – being located in Southaven. Name-brand products also are bought from large producers such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and McKee for a great price, he said.
The store on Third St. was not initially in James’ business plan. After seeing how the closure of Kroger affected the neighborhood, James let his landlord know about his idea to build a new Cash Saver and the plans moved forward.
James is looking to attract the customers that once shopped at the Third Street Kroger and others from the area. Reviews from customers of the other Cash Saver locations reflected positives since the start in April 2011.
“This store has a lunch counter, a deli, a growler bar and clientele who are a continuous source of entertainment. Kroger may have better carts, but Cash Saver has better service and prices,” said Gerald Lovel about the Madison Avenue location.
“I stop here four times or more during the week,” Renelle Duncan said about the Winchester location. “Great customer service, wonderful sales, fresh produce and if lines get long, they open more registers.”
James noted Cash Saver’s community-service sensitivity.
“We do a lot of stuff within the community for our neighborhoods, churches and schools that have events,” James said. “If they ever need help with a dinner or event, we try to lend our helping hands. We like to help and support our customers.”