PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While this weekend’s protesters have been peaceful, just one week ago local businesses experienced destruction and losses after some demonstrations turned violent and others turned to looting. On Sunday, one ShopRite grocery store reopened for the first time since it was ransacked.
For 15 hours last week, the ShopRite at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia was stripped clean by looters, leaving floors covered with food and aisles devasted.
“For them to do that and have it be closed, it was awful. It really was awful,” customer Nichele Whitfield said. “I was brought to tears. You have people like me that rely on their local grocery stores. What are you supposed to do? How are you suppose to feed your family?”
Whitfield was one of the first shoppers to reenter the ShopRite as it reopened to the public Sunday. Without a car or market, she struggled not knowing where she’d secure food for her family of four.
“It looks better than it did before,” she said.
Sandy Brown, one of the ShopRite’s owners, told Eyewitness News that it took 300 community members and staff to get the store ready in one week’s time.
“This store is vital to this community. We need this store. You’d have to go out to other communities to go shopping. We need this store,” Douglas Stokes said.
Registers and safes all had to be rebuilt, the owners said. Fourteen self-checkout stands are now gone completely, but the floors are now clean.
A celebration of the reopening is scheduled for Monday morning.
“I really thought it would be much longer than [one week]. I was trying to figure out what to do for the next month,” Whitfield said. “When I saw on their Facebook page they’d be open in a week, I was so happy.”
Another ShopRite — Fox Street in North Philadelphia — that was vandalized reopened on Friday.