ACTION hopes to find other grocers interested in the Youngstown location.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The minister who heads the faith-based local advocacy group, ACTION, says he's optimistic about keeping some sort of retail grocery and pharmacy store at Phar-Mor's South Side location.
"We fought to get it [Phar-Mor] there, so we'll fight to keep something there," said the Rev. Michael Harrison, president of ACTION and pastor of Union Baptist Church. Phar-Mor stores will be closing in six to 10 weeks.
"We are soliciting other grocers, local as well as out of state, to see if they'd be interested in bringing their business to our city," The Rev. Mr. Harrison said Saturday evening.
ACTION (Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing Our Neighborhoods) had campaigned successfully to get a Phar-Mor store opened in June 2000 in a vacant former Giant Eagle at Market Street and Midlothian Boulevard. Giant Eagle still owns the building, which it has been leasing to Phar-Mor.
To meet with grocers
ACTION members will begin calling grocers, including Giant Eagle, on Monday to set up face-to-face meetings with them and will be meeting with city and county officials, Mr. Harrison said. He added that ACTION hopes to be able to announce who is interested in replacing Phar-Mor on the South Side at a Thursday news conference.
Mr. Harrison also said ACTION wants to see whether other companies can hire workers laid off from the Tamco warehouse, which has been supplying Phar-Mor stores.
ACTION leaders, who conducted an emergency meeting Friday, said in a news release that the acquisition and closing of Phar-Mor by Giant Eagle and others denies "people of color and the economically disenfranchised the opportunity to shop for quality groceries in the City of Youngstown" and contributes to the "crisis of confidence in corporate America."