Grocer hopes service will compete with big-box stores

Jorgensen's will reopen location on Greenville's south side this summer

Greenville, Jorgensen's
The site of Jorgensen's on Washington Street in Greenville. (June 5, 3017)

GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been a long-lamented issue in towns big and small: Big-box stores move in and smaller, homegrown stores just can’t compete.

That was the case for one local grocer, Jorgensen’s, in Greenville several years ago. But now owners are trying to buck the trend.

When all is said and done, Jorgensen’s will have invested over $1.1 million in the location on Washington Street on the south side of Greenville.

“We’re going to have, I believe, a 36-foot produce case,” Brett Meilluer, Jorgensen’s director of operations, showed 24 Hour News 8 on Monday.

In 2010, Jorgensen’s moved out of the store. At the time, there just wasn’t enough business to support the full-size store. Meilleur said that new neighbors to the west — Walmart and Meijer — had a lot to do with that.

“Yeah, them coming in definitely hurt and they (Jorgensen’s) didn’t know how to adjust. You have to adjust quick,” he said.

But the two big-box competitors also have a something to do with Jorgensen’s planned reopening. Meilluer said his company has heard from customers who, now that they have shopped at the big stores, want a little more.

“We’re really seeing a resurgence in people wanting Spartan brand products and Spartan-type format,” Meilluer said.

The revamped Jorgensen’s will have competitive prices, along with services like a deli, bakery and fresh meat counter. There won’t be any self-checkout machines, but there will be baggers that can help tote your groceries to the car.

“I think Walmart and Meijer have shown what they’re going to be in Greenville and they’ve got a place here, but there’s definitely a need for a small town grocery store, too,” Meilluer said.

Jorgensen’s still operates a smaller market on the north side of Greenville, as well as Save-A-Lot stores in the Montcalm County.

He said nothing is set in stone yet, but owners hope to reopen the store sometime in July.