Rural Grocery Initiative
Confronting issues of business development, public health and community sustainability, the Kansas Rural Center is serving as a partner with the KSU Center for Engagement and Community Development to discovery solutions that would allow our rural grocery stores to survive.
Of the 675 communities in Kansas, 51% have no supermarket. — David Procter, KSU
The Center for Engagement and Community Development and its partners have identified nearly 200 grocery stores in rural towns across Kansas with populations under 2,000 and are beginning a much-needed conversation with these rural Kansas grocers.
Through this initiative, CECD, KRC and other partners seek to create new models for rural business development and sustainability and plans to address specific questions such as,
- How can we increase local customer loyalty?
- How can rural business best compete with large chain stores?
- What are the best strategies for dealing with minimum buying requirements?
- What models of rural business ownership are most effective?
- Are there alternative models of distribution for getting products to rural business owners?
Nearly one-third of supermarkets in Kansas communities under 2,500 have closed since 2007.
The specific goals of this initiative include:
- To create a rural grocery website for sharing information with one another,
- To create and deliver a marketing survey of customers needs and wishes,
- To create a list of rural grocer best practices, and
- To begin to develop a “buy local” campaign.
More information is available at www.ruralgrocery.org. or here at kansasruralcenter.org. If you would like to be included in this conversation or would like to talk about rural business development retention, please contact CECD at 785-532-6868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.