Piggly Wiggly pulls plug on opening grocery store in Chicora Cherokee

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Piggly Wiggly has pulled out of its commitment to build a store in the south end of North Charleston, city officials said Wednesday.

The grocery store was supposed to be built at in Shipwatch Square at the corner of Rivers and McMillian Avenues.

Mayor Keith Summey made the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning.

Chicora Cherokee has been labeled by the Feds as a food desert, a low income area where people have little access to healthy food and produce.

"Bad, it was bad and sad because we need a store," said Chicora Cherokee resident Lorenzo Sheppard.

Sheppard has lived his entire life in the neighborhood and says the lack of a full service grocery is difficult, especially for older folks.

"It's terrible, it's terrible, that's what it is, it's terrible," Sheppard said.

Right now the closest thing to a grocery store in the neighborhood is Fresh Futures Farm.

Owner Germaine Jenkins says her customers have complained that there's no full service grocery in Chicora Cherokee.

"It's a pain in the neck especially if you don't have transportation which is why we are here," Jenkins said.

The last grocery store on thE property was a Winn Dixie.

it went out of business in 2005 along with other Winn Dixie stores in the Southeast.

A few years later North Charleston spent more than $5 million to demolish the buildings in Shipwatch Square, hoping to attract a new grocery store.

With Piggly Wiggly pulling out, it's now back to the drawing board.

"You would imagine it would be attractive for a grocer to come, considering City Council has already said they would give half a million dollars towards a full service grocery store," City of North Charleston spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

We reached out to Lowcountry Grocers LLC, which was supposed to open the grocery in Shipwatch Square to find out why they had a change of heart.

We have not heard back from the company.

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