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Struggling to compete with grocery giants, Remke closes Hebron location

Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 18:29:23-05

A new month, another store closing.

This time, Remke Market is about to put up store closing signs at its store in Hebron, Kentucky, just off I-275.

"It's a very sad day to see Remke's close, because we use it as a convenience store for a local business here," longtime customer Barbara Davenport said.

Billie Miller says it's the only supermarket alternative to the giant Kroger a half-mile down the road.

"It's just a nice handy little store, they have some good sales sometimes, and they carry some stuff Kroger doesn't carry anymore," Miller said.

Why Remke is closing stores

Remke has been slimming down for three years now, ever since the original Remke family sold it to the Fresh Encounter chain in Findlay, Ohio.

Since that time, the company has been closing the unprofitable stores.

A spokeswoman for Fresh Encounter, Julie Anderson, told WCPO "the Hebron store did not reach its sales potential."

She said Remke's six remaining Cincinnati-area stores are not closing.

At the nearby Hebron Corner Mart — a convenience and craft beer store — owner Pat Patel said he expects to see more business, but is sad at the same time. He feels Hebron simply had too many groceries for its population.

"In Hebron, it's a small town, a small community, and it's definitely more competition than the customer needs; there's a lot of corporate stores, and a lot of convenience stores," he said.

Small grocers everywhere, from the troubled Clifton Market in Cincinnati to the Riverside Market in Dayton, Kentucky, are struggling to compete with Kroger, Walmart, and now Aldi, which tend to beat them on prices.

Unless locals support these smaller stores, more may end up posting closing signs.

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8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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