Two local Family Thrift Centers and the Prairie Market on the north side of Rapid City will close in October.
The Family Thrift Center at 855 Omaha St., Family Thrift Express at 3464 Sturgis Road and Prairie Market at 11 New York St. will be shuttering their doors as part of a reconsolidation effort by their parent company, SpartanNash.
An exact date for the closings has not been determined.
“We take every store closing very seriously, and this is by no means a reflection of our great team that works at those stores,” said Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications for SpartanNash. “This is not a reflection of what is going on on the national platform by any means.”
Gremel explained that the planned closings come as two other local Family Thrift centers — at 1516 E. Saint Patrick St. and 751 Mountain View Road — undergo remodeling. Employees at the closing stores will have an opportunity to transfer to the remodeled stores, Gremel said.
The three stores employ around 100 people.
“We made the decision to consolidate our resources into remodeling and reinvesting into those two stores so we can continue to provide the best service,” she said, adding that the leases at two of the closing stores will expire in the next 18 months.
“The closing is in cadence with the remodeling efforts of the other two stores. It made sense to do it at this time.”
Associates at the affected stores were notified Wednesday, Gremel said, and some of the store’s prescription services are being sold to local Walgreens stores.
SpartanNash, a food distributor and grocery store retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has 151 corporate stores across 10 states, according to Gremel. The nation’s fifth-largest food distributor, it distributes to 2,100 independent locations across 47 states and is also the leading distributor to U.S. commissaries throughout the world.
The Prairie Market on New York Street and the Family Thrift Express on Sturgis Road have been owned by SpartanNash for more than 20 years. The Family Thirft Center on Omaha Street was purchased from the Albertson family in 2008, Gremel said.
Tom Stephens, 62, who buys his prescriptions from the Omaha Street store, said he was disappointed to learn it would be closing this fall. “It’s going to be hard for all of Rapid City because we’ve gotten all our prescriptions there for years,” Stephens said. “I don’t know what options we got.”
Stephens, who lives near Johnson Siding, said an employee at the store told him that his prescriptions were being transferred to the Walgreens on Mount Rushmore Road.
He said he hopes another company purchases the building so he can continue buying his medicine at the Omaha Street location.
Mary Corbine, food security manager of Feeding South Dakota, said the closings "will impact a lot of people, and not just the people who are food insecure."
Corbine has been working with a food security committee through Rapid City Collective Impact, which has been tracking data on Rapid City's food deserts since March.
Food deserts are considered areas devoid of fresh and healthful foods and usually occur in impoverished areas.
The food security committee was planning to release the information within the next few weeks, but after learning that three grocery stores are closing, Corbine said their data may shift.