Jr. Food Stores closing doors in Radcliff

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Employees, inventory to be relocated

By Marty Finley

Two businesses will say goodbye to Radcliff this week.

The Jr. Food Stores on West Lincoln Trail Boulevard and Hill Street are shuttering their doors Monday, a move made by Jr. Food Stores’ parent company, Houchens Industries, after the landlord declined to renew the company’s lease on the properties, said Brandon Jones, marketing coordinator for Houchens.

Employees at both stores are being offered positions in other locations around the area. Jones did not know the number of employees affected by the closure and anticipated relocation.

Inventory, meanwhile, will be consolidated into other stores, he said.

“We’ll distribute that to other areas as we can,” he said.

According to Houchens’ official website, it operates more than 50 convenience stores with fuel stations in Kentucky and Tennessee under the umbrella of IGA Express, Jr. Food Stores and Shell.

“These stores support the grab and go, on the run customers, and are designed with speed in mind for today’s time starved consumer,” the website states.

Houchens purchased Jr. Food Stores about 13 years ago. Jones said the two locations have been active in Radcliff since at least the 1980s.

Customers casually milled about both locations Friday, seemingly unaware of the impending closures. No signs were visible indicating the stores were closing.

Jones said the lack of signs alerting customers appeared to be an oversight on the company’s part and would be addressed.

“If there’s not (signs), there probably should be,” he said.

Mayor J.J. Duvall said the loss of business always is felt and the loss will resonate with customers. Duvall said Jr. Food Stores had proven successful over the years and was one of the larger distributors of lottery tickets in the area.

“We hate to see any type of business move out,” Duvall said.

Despite its concern, he said, the city has no authority to intervene and keep the stores around.

“There’s really nothing we can do,” Duvall said.

Terry Shortt, president of the Radcliff Small Business Alliance, said losing any business in Radcliff creates a stinging effect.

Shortt said the alliance would be willing to advocate for businesses if they approach the organization with a problem, but property disputes are usually heated by the time outside entities find out.

Fortunately, he said, these types of disputes are uncommon. Most property owners do not willfully drive businesses out of a city in favor of another empty building.

“This was probably complicated,” he said. “There’s probably a lot of complications.”

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.