As I went past the Rittman Shopping Center this afternoon, I saw some green fluorescent posterboard in the windows of the IGA. I did my business at the credit union and returned to see what was on the signs. It was, as we have all been sort of expecting, but hoping wouldn't happen, a notice that the IGA was closing, and store hours as of this coming Sunday would be 9:00am to 6:00pm.
This store had been in trouble for quite a while, as have been many independents. Two years ago this past June a good part of Rittman was under several inches of flood water. All stores in the shopping center had to close for several days to dry out. The IGA was hurt the worst, as they lost most of their inventory, either from water damage or spoilage when the power was off.
They came back from that, but not totally. The end of October that year saw the Wadsworth Wal-Mart Supercenter grand opening, which some people saw as the beginning of the end for the Rittman IGA.
The Rittman edition of The Trading Post, as the paper was known as then, ran a series of articles about Seville and Doylestown losing their independent grocery stores, hoping that the people of Rittman would get behind their independent. There were even yard signs distributed that people put on their treelawns that said "Support your local IGA" The City government got behind the business, but I feared that it was too little too late.
More to come...
Part 2; Some History of Rittman IGA
Part 3; Where will we go now?
Part 4; We Need Dreamers