Business Bummer: How Schnucks Closures Could Impact Neighboring Stores

- ROCKFORD -- Schnucks' announcement that it will close two of it's Rockford stores is starting to sink in. Now,  owners of neighboring businesses are wondering whether the closures could take a bite out of their bottom line.

Lawrence Kisseih tries to focus on work at his store, Eyram Resale. But it's hard, after finding out a major source of customer traffic is leaving.

"I was surprised, I was shocked," said Kisseih.

Schnucks on South Alpine, only two doors down from Eyram Resale, is closing up shop at the end of May, along with another branch on Rural Street. It's a decision that Kisseih says could hurt the entire shopping center and his bottom line.

"We think we're going to have a little hit you know in the meantime because the fact is we don't know if there's going to be anybody else," said Kisseih. "Obviously I didn't see this coming."

And neither did Winnebago County Board Chairman, Scott Christiansen. He says a little advance notice from Schnucks could've made a big difference.

"It'd be nice to have that dialogue well in advance, and not saying, but maybe there's something we could do to enhance those particular areas to make it easier to do business there," Christiansen said.

The owner of Primo's Pizza, Ann Lori, says who wouldn't want to do business in the rural street area? After all, she's been doing it for 23 years.
"Really nice, nice neighborhood," said Lori. "I love it to be here and I really like it and I wouldn't change it for nothing, so I hope that somebody else comes a long and opens a grocery store."

And so does Christiansen.

"Many times these grocery stores are real neighborhood focal points, actually staples to the whole neighborhood so yeah I'm disappointed, clearly."

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