PENNSYLVANIA – ‘We’re Heartbroken’: Customers Say Goodbye To ShopRite That Is Closing And Blaming Soda Tax

Didi Anderson walked two blocks from her home to the ShopRite in West Philadelphia on Wednesday morning to buy a can of peas for beef stew.

But she lingered inside, filling her cart with more than just peas, as she realized that the Haverford Avenue store, which will close Thursday, was offering all items at a 75 percent discount.

Anderson was happy about the low prices but not the closing of the store, which will leave her neighborhood without a supermarket.

“It has such a negative impact,” she said. “I’m in good health, but there are so many seniors who walk here.”

Jeff Brown, president and CEO of Brown Super Stores Inc., announced in January that he would close his Haverford Avenue ShopRite, blaming Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages for a 23 percent decline in sales and an annual net loss of more than $1 million. Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, meanwhile, contends that Brown is using the tax as a scapegoat for the store’s struggles and insists there is no evidence that the levy has impacted grocery sales.

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The Inquirer/Daily news
by laura mccrystal
march 14, 2019