grocery bridge

This Save-A-Lot is the only grocery store serving the town of Appalachia. Town officials say it is set to close June 21.

Appalachia town officials say they recently learned that Save-A-Lot, the town’s only grocery store, will close.

Council member Travis Anderson verified Wednesday that he has been told the store will close June 21.

In a Tuesday phone conversation, Town Manager Fred Luntsford said: “We are devastated that we are losing our grocery store. The town has had a grocery store ever since I can remember. We are just devastated.”

Noting the news that Big Stone Gap’s Walmart is also slated for closure, Luntsford said, “We are trying to find ways to alleviate this problem and now, Walmart closing, that is another blow to this end of the county.”

Luntsford stated that he is willing to work with Big Stone Gap to help bring businesses into the two towns.

Anderson stated Wednesday that he was advised by the local Save-A-Lot’s management staff that closing the store was a corporate decision.

“Several other stores have been closed as well throughout different states,” Anderson said. “So, this is not just isolated to one area. This is a company-wide issue.”

A representative from Save-A-Lot’s customer care division stated Wednesday that the Appalachia location is independently owned. The representative could find no other information about the store except for it being “active” at the current time.

The Save-A-Lot in Appalachia is owned by Houchens Industries Inc. out of Bowling Green, Ky. The company owns several grocery stores, retail stores and insurance companies.

No one from Houchens Industries could be reached for comment by press time Wednesday.