- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - Some small towns in southeast South Dakota are seeking ways to keep area stores alive after a grocer says he might have to close those stores down at the end of the year.

Grocer R.F. Buche said he’s committed to his stores in Tripp, Scotland and Tyndall, but can’t afford to stay in operation at the current sales level. Buche’s stores are the only grocery in each community, the Yankton Press & Dakotan reported.

“We either need twice the number of customers at the same level of spending, or our current customers have to spend twice as much as they do now,” Buche said.

The grocer said he’s willing to run the three stores on little profit or break-even.

“I’m absolutely fine with that,” he said. “I’ll work for that (level) if it means they will have grocery stores that we can keep going.”

Buche has met with leaders in the three communities to make them aware of the situation and seek answers. Tripp officials said they plan to hold a community meeting to get the word out.

“I think the mayor is calling a meeting in about a week,” said Bob Just, a resident of Tripp. “We have young (residents) who are really trying to create extra support for the store. They realize what needs to be done. They’re trying to round up the community and get everybody on the same page.”

Buche said he remains committed to keeping the stores open at least another month before making a final decision.

“We’ll definitely hold on until after Christmas, until the first of the year,” he said. “After that, we’ll see how it goes.”


Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, https://www.yankton.net/

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