Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics, March 3, 2021
The Bayard Grocery store made headline news in Nebraska the end of January with the announcement of its upcoming closure. Unfortunately, a grocery store closing is not uncommon in Nebraska or across the United States. A North Dakota study from the state’s association of rural electric cooperatives in 2017 found that in communities with 2,100 people or fewer, there are 98 full-service grocery stores, down from 137 in 2014. In addition, A PEW Trusts article in October 2019, further addresses the nationwide challenge of rural grocery store closures. Challenges include decreased population, competition from superstores (i.e., Walmart), and rural food distribution.
While there are many challenges to rural grocery store transitions, this article focuses on how community supported enterprises can assist a community in preparing now for successful rural grocery store transitions.