- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WINONA, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi town of Winona is coping with the loss of its only grocery store.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1MSGYm5) that the SuperValu store caught fire early last week.

The building is a total loss. Salvage work is complete but Marc Sims, a supervisor with the company that owns the store, said demolition and reconstruction are estimated to take at least six months.

Mayor Jerry Flowers said the store contributed $10,000 in sales taxes every month to the town.

The SuperValu was the only full-service grocer in Winona. Even the Walmart - which Flowers says “has to be one of the oldest in America” - doesn’t sell groceries. A handful of dollar-store style retailers sell snack foods and some frozen goods.

The burned store also will be missed because it had stations where customers could pay utility bills. It did a thriving plate-lunch business and was a general hub of socialization. It served as the gathering spot for several morning and afternoon coffee clubs.

Flowers said the tax revenue from the store will be missed in Winona’s overall yearly budget of $3 million. “That’s the biggest problem, is the money we’re going to lose while it’s down,” he said.

“This store is so busy, and I love that,” said Sims. “I know how bad they need this store, so we’re going to get it built back as fast as we can because we’ve had great support from this community.” He added that he was working on a way for the store’s 60 employees, at least those who could travel outside Winona, to catch on at some of the company’s other locations.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com


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