By Syma Chowdhry
CHESTER, Pa., (CBS) — This was the scene back in June when Chester residents were excited to see a Bottom Dollar food store open up.
They formed a line out the door opening day.
But now – those doors are closing by year end.
“I cannot believe in five months this place is going to close down,” shopper Jill Greaves said.
Aldi acquired Bottom Dollar Food, but the company has not said whether or not it will set up a shop at this location, leaving dozens without a job.
Chester was considered a “food desert” because it didn’t have a grocery store for 12 years until a non-profit group opened Fare and Square last year.
But Bottom Dollar was Chester’s first retail grocery chain to open in years.
“Building the building, having people come and six months later having to close, it is sad,” shopper Cathy Rafa said.
Chester Mayor John Linder called Aldi representatives last week and has not heard back yet.
“To get a meeting so we can talk with them about some of the things we expect obviously,” said Chester Mayor John Linder.
If Aldi doesn’t convert the space soon, residents will have to find grocery shops outside the city.
The mayor is willing to negotiate tax breaks and other perks to attract Aldi or other grocers.
“It is right there in the public safety area where we are going to put up safety cameras, public safety cameras, we believe it is a great spot,” said Linder.
Even if Aldi does open their store at this location, some shoppers will be disappointed. They say Aldi doesn’t carry the same items as Bottom Dollar Food.
“I have never liked that market, even when it was over at the Upland shopping center, I didn’t like it,” said Greaves.
“It’s not brand names and stuff,” Rafa said.
Whether it’s Aldi or not, shoppers say there is a need to fill this space.
“It’s really such a shame that they don’t understand the severity of the situation here in the city of Chester,” said Greaves.
A city that could become a food desert once again.
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