Pic Pac in West L'ville latest grocery to close

Jere Downs
Louisville Courier Journal

The Pic Pac supermarket in Russell will close January 1, Louisville's fourth urban grocery to fail in recent months.

The Pic Pac closes by year's end at 2421 W. Market Street.

Sales have tumbled roughly 30 percent this year at 2421 West Market Street, Pic Pac co-owner Matt Reasor said. When a buyer recently made an unsolicited offer on the family-owned building, Reasor said he could not refuse.

"It was a tough decision," Reasor said. 

"Our store is older," he added of the building that began as an A&P grocery in 1937. "Our labor cost is too high." 

►READ MORE on food store shortage: Louisville's urban grocers falling like dominoes

The Pic Pac has been in the Reasor family for 34 years and is now co-owned by Matt Reasor and his brother, Benjamin.  

An estimated 80 percent of purchases at the store are made with food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, he said.  To be eligible to receive food stamps, a person must report income of no more than about $1,000 per month.  One fourth of Kentucky residents who receive food stamps also report earnings from employment, according to a federal SNAP report of activity in fiscal 2015, while half of food stamp recipients rely on some form of Social Security income.

The Pic Pac on West Market Street in Russell thrived on meat specials during grilling season, co-owner Matt Reasor said.

In November, Kroger closed its Shively store on Crum's Lane at Dixie Highway.  Wal-Mart just abandoned plans for a super store on Broadway at 18th. The First Link grocery shut down last April in Phoenix Hill, and the lease of the Old Louisville's Kroger on Second Street expires in 2017.

Food stamp income seems to be down, Reasor said, adding sales of canned goods and boxed, processed foods have also fallen off.

At the Pic Pac's building with 40 parking spaces on either side, the new owner will run a retail operation that is not a grocery, Reasor said. He declined to identify the buyer, adding the sale has not closed.

Jere Downs can be reached at 502-582-4669, JDowns@Courier-Journal.com and Jere Downs on Facebook.