Grocery store war casualty in Ballantyne

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Harris Teeter in Ballantyne on Johnston Road is closing for good. The company said after much consideration it is shutting down.

"I'm not that fond of that, that it's closing down because I am used to coming here to get my everyday necessities," Shopper Michael Klueppel said.

Klueppel will not have to go far for groceries. There are about six grocery stores located within a few miles of the soon to close Harris Teeter.

There is a WalMart, Lidl, Publix, a soon to open produce store called Sprouts and two other Harris Teeters.

Harris Teeter is telling customers to shop at the nearby Harris Teeters. Shoppers like having many options.

"If there is a war," Klueppel said. "It's good for the consumer, right."

David Livingston is a supermarket analyst and has his own company. He has been in the business for more than 30 years and weighed in on the Harris Teeter closing.

"If the store is performing poorly, and there is another Harris Teeter nearby, it makes sense for them to close the store up," Livingston said.

The Harris Teeter that's closing has been around for about six years.  There has been much competition that has popped up during that time.

"With online shopping," Livingston said. "You got Wegman's moving down in the area, you got Publix moving up, so somebody's got to go."

Harris Teeter says it is not surprised other stores are targeting the Ballantyne area. Officials say Harris Teeter is used to competition.

Livingston believes there could be more grocery stores in trouble down the road.

"I think the whole eastern seaboard is going to see about 500 stores close," he said. "Mostly Food Lion and Bi-Lo are going to be the first casualties."

Shoppers say they are sad to see Harris Teeter shut down, but are excited to see what is in store for their future shopping.

"I am looking forward to see what they will bring next," Shopper Amber Micale-Lutz said.  "It's always good to have options."

No word yet what will replace the Harris Teeter and no word about what will happen to the Harris Teeter employees. Will they be transferred to other stores or will they be out of a job? Harris Teeter has not commented.

The manager at the Indian Land Walmart located a few miles down the road has this message for those who may get displaced.

"Definitely will extend to those people opportunities here at our store if they are interested," WalMart Manager Keith Sanders said

The Harris Teeter closes on or before February 3.

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