Robbins Grocery Store Changes Names
Robbins has a new old store.
Lowes Foods is bowing out of the northern Moore County town in favor of "Just$ave" - its lower-priced "frugal cousin" - which took over the same location.
The store closed for a few days, and painters went to work brightening the walls with new colors.
In 1917, Moses George opened his first store. It became the North Carolina-based, family-owned Lowes Foods chain. Just$ave is part of a move into the low price market. The Robbins location was to change over last year, but that was delayed.
Last week, red banners went up, and clerks and managers showed up in new bright red shirts for what the company described to them as a "re-grand opening."
The event quelled rumors that had spread throughout town that Lowes was "giving up on Robbins." Instead, shelves seemed stocked with much larger quantities - especially the fresh fruit and produce section just to the right inside the front door.
"We value being a member of the neighborhoods we serve and are committed to help other local businesses thrive," the company said in an online announcement. "You will see many locally grown and produced items throughout our store. We strive to offer great values and products for budget-conscious people. Supporting local growers is very important to us. We work to bring their harvest to your table."
Just$ave already exceeds N.C. State and A&T universities' "10 percent locally grown" goal for fresh fruits and vegetables in their North Carolina stores during the state's growing season. The company seeks North Carolina products across many categories, including seafood and packaged products, and is actively working with farmers to teach them the best way to get their products through the distribution system of a large grocery chain.
Just$ave is part of the Lowes family, but the familiar green Lowes cards aren't supposed to be interchangeable with new Just$ave cards, the company says - however, they were being accepted during the first weeks of operation.
While there had been concern that hard-hit Robbins would lose even more jobs, Just$ave actually increased its work force, adding five new jobs. The new supermarket also added a number of cost-saving measures designed to reward loyal shoppers.
For one thing, each customer's sales are added up over a 30-day period. Once the total reaches $100, he or she save 5 cents per gallon on gas bought at Lowes Foods fuel stations and any participating WilcoHess location.
Once customers log $200 on their savings card, they save 10 cents per gallon, and spending $300 means they will save 15 cents per gallon.
The low price plan reduces prices on the items customers buy most frequently, not on everything in the store. Many shelves had the same prices as when the sign outside said "Lowes Foods," but the most popular things, and frequently bought staples, will cost less.
A big silver bell hangs at the front of the store under a red sign with white letters.
"If you get great service today, please ring the bell!" it says.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or jfchappell @thepilot.com.
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