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Ukrop's president and c.e.o. Bobby Ukrop yesterday cited an undeveloped retail center, a poor economy, and competition from other grocers as the chief culprits hurting its Roanoke store, which opened June 2007, and while he didn't state it explicitly, he implied that it might be in danger of closing.
"Right now, we're working to build the business," he said, according to an article in the Roanoke Times. "I can't tell you what's going to happen down the road."
The 58,000-square-foot store is part of a vacant lot slated to be a retail center named Ivy Market. Roanoke promised the developer, IMD Investment Group, $9 million in tax incentives over 15 years for opening Ukrop's and an adjacent Walgreens drugstore, according to the report.
The first phase of the Ivy Market project has stalled from numerous construction delays, which resulted in delays of the tax incentives. In a letter mailed to several thousand Ukrop's customers across the region in the past week, the retailer blames the undeveloped Ivy Market as a reason for slow traffic and sales at the store.