This report discusses findings from a study that included a resident survey, interviews with local independent and chain grocery store managers, a regional demographic and market analysis, and additional grocery industry research. While the focus of the study centered around the impact of the grocery store closures on residents in the Southside and East Bluff neighborhoods, the analysis was expanded to include additional perspective provided by looking at the Greater Peoria Region and national retail grocery trends shaping the market.
The data and research collected throughout the study and delivered in this report aims to encourage data-informed and market-aware decision making for new local/independent grocery businesses, chain grocery retail attraction, and provide insights to help tie any future grocery store efforts to existing food security initiatives in the region including both urban and rural communities impacted by grocery store closures.
A meeting held at the Minority Business Development Center on July 10 allowed residents to learn more about the report. Participants also heard from Sean Park of Western Illinois University about a small community-owned grocery store model launched in Winchester, IL. That model was discussed as possibly adaptable to the Southside given the similarities in reduced food access of both rural and disinvested urban areas. An additional meeting (time and place to be determined) will be held in the East Bluff.