By Ethan Colbert
The County Market grocery store in Bowling Green will close its doors at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10, according to a spokesperson with the Niemann Foods franchise.
When the doors of the grocery store re-open in mid-December 2017, it will be as a Save-A-Lot grocery store.
“We are honestly very excited about converting this store and we are excited to bring the Save-A-Lot brand to Bowling Green,” Gerry Kettler said in a telephone interview with the Bowling Green Times on Thursday afternoon. Kettler is the Director of Consumer Affairs for Niemann Foods.
Save-A-Lot grocery is headquartered in Earth City, Mo., and has more than 1,300 locations in 36 states, including locations in Hannibal and Quincy.
In his interview, Kettler said that the discussions of converting the County Market location in Bowling Green to a Save-A-Lot began in earnest more than a year ago.
“We always want to be relevant to the communities that we serve,” Kettler said. “So as we began discussing this, we devoted an entire team of people to researching this and evaluating how best we can serve the Bowling Green community.”
The Louisiana location of County Market is unaffected by the conversion of the Bowling Green store.
According to Kettler, when the Save-A-Lot opens in December in Bowling Green, the physical location of the grocery business will have gone through an extensive remodeling process.
“I think everything is going to be changed,” Kettler said of the remodeling plans. “We are certainly doing more than just putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls.”
While the renovations are happening inside the store, which first opened at that location in 1998, the store’s pharmacy will continue to be in operation.
“I think it is very important for people in Bowling Green to know that the pharmacy will remain open during the entire process,” Kettler said. According to the company spokesperson, the pharmacy will retain its County Market Health Mart name and will continue to offer both drive-up and walk-up counter pharmacy services.
The store’s grocery selection will also go through a transformation during the closure.
“Save-A-Lot offers produce, meat, and more than all of the basic grocery items,” Kettler said. “We like to say that it offers a limited assortment of products with extreme value and fantastic prices.”
According to Kettler, the hot deli and the custom bakery, both key features of the current County Market, will close and will not re-open with the rest of the store in December. The Save-A-Lot store will offer both bakery and deli pre-packaged products once it re-opens.
Despite the closure of the deli and the bakery, Kettler said that he does not anticipate any jobs being lost in the conversion.
“The employees of those departments can transfer to any of our other County Market locations, or they can continue to work at Save-A-Lot,” Kettler said. Employees at the Bowling Green location were notified of the impending change during a staff meeting on Thursday, October 5.