By Erin Achenbach
Residents of Crestwood will have one less option for grocery shopping after the Crestwood Shop ’n Save closes its doors for good Friday, Nov. 16.
The store, located at 301 Watson Road, is one of 17 Shop-N-Save locations not bought out by Maryland Heights-based grocery chain Schnucks in October, when Schnucks acquired 19 stores from Kirkwood-based Shop ’n Save’s parent company Supervalu. With no buyer, the remaining 17 locations are closing.
The closure of the Shop ’n Save is one of many that have hit the Watson Road corridor. The loss of business and subsequent sales tax could bring an estimated $330,000 loss to the city in sales-tax revenue, not accounting for utility tax. However, City Administrator Kris Simpson said events like this are accounted for in the budget.
“We’ve been fortunate because we do have room for contingencies like this in the budget,” said Simpson. “We plan for the worst-case scenario or unfortunate circumstances such as a closure that allow you to ride out economic fluctuations.”
However, Simpson said that the city does not have enough information right now to estimate the impact of the utility-tax loss.
The city has taken steps to mitigate the damage the store’s closing may cause.
A part-time position that had not yet been filled was eliminated, and budget requests are being closely scrutinized.
“The 2019 (fiscal year) budget factored in losses, and we still have a balanced budget that meets needs,” said Simpson. “It comes down to being fiscally conservative.”
Current Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie, who was elected as mayor last week, has a fairly optimistic outlook on the situation. The board plans to work with the owner of the space to turn the area into a vibrant shopping plaza, and the money lost from Shop ’n Save could come back to the city through increased sales at other Crestwood groceries such as Aldi, the existing Schnucks and Sam’s Club.
“In some ways we’re really lucky to have three grocery stores plus a Sam’s Club,” said Mabie. “That’s a luxury a lot of cities don’t have… I don’t view it as a decline. Just as a tough break for the city.”