Posted: Jan 24, 2006 8:12 PM
The Gerbes closing is part of a trend that's left some residents with few options. Ronald Whitley and his family live two blocks from the store on East McCarty Street.
"I walk to that store three or four times a day," explained Whitley. "I don't have a car, and we need certain things in the house, so I have to walk up and get them."
By Saturday, the store Whitley and his family depend on will close. Gerbes refused to comment. But, First Ward Councilman Mike Harvey saw it coming.
"The Gerbes store has been an anchor in the community for a very long time," he said. "But, then Gerbes built their new supercenter. And, my way of thinking was, it was only a matter of time before, from a corporate point of view, the bottom line was going to close this store."
Harvey said Jefferson City has 13 grocery stores, but 11 are on the expanding west side. Two groceries serve the east side, but only one will be left after Saturday.
"What's going to happen is, I'm probably going to have to use the bus now to get to Gerbes, the new Gerbes, the super Gerbes, in order to do my shopping," complained Whitley. "That's going to be heck when I got all them groceries. It's going to be a bummer. I'm really going to miss this store."
But, Whitley said he has a short-term plan.
"I made arrangements with a friend of mine to bring his car over Saturday," he explained, "and we're just going to load up."
But, Whitley also said only one thing will really help: another grocery store.
Councilman Harvey said Jeff-Tran makes three trips from the old Gerbes to the new one. He said he's trying to arrange more routes to the new store.