New Truckee Grocery Impact Study Finds Existing Store Closures Likely Result With Three New Stores



“A new grocery store impact study commissioned by Protect CEQA and Sustainable Truckee finds that, based upon projected sales distribution following the opening of three new supermarkets in Truckee, Save Mart and the locally owned New Moon Natural Foods will face closure due to the new competition.

“The impact study, conducted by Tiburon-based Area Research Associates, concludes that the cumulative impacts from the opening of 3 proposed new supermarkets – Nugget Markets, Grocery Outlet and Raleys – will reduce Save Mart’s profitability to 33% below break-even threshold. New Moon Natural Foods projected profitability will reduce to 27% below break-even levels,” said Executive Director Andrew Grundman.

“It is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ these existing stores will close should the Town of Truckee move forward with the approval of these three new stores,” said Andrew Grundman, Executive Director of Protect CEQA. “While we acknowledge people’s frustrations with some of the existing stores, the fact remains that, even with Truckee’s future projected growth, the town cannot sustain six total grocery stores. Where will the labor force come from? Will the wages be enough for them to live comfortably in Truckee? What will the impacts be on Truckee’s historic downtown? These all need to be taken into serious consideration, along with extensive input from the residents and existing businesses.”

In late November, the Truckee Planning Division announced that it was processing land use applications for three grocery stores, and that the Planning Commission would be considering each application over the next few months. In mid-December, the Planning Commission approved the 35,000 square foot Nugget Markets application, which is located within the Railyard development. The proposed 17,500 square foot Grocery Outlet development was introduced in late-November, but after extensive pushback from neighbors, the application got tabled.

“On Tuesday, January 16th the 40,000 square foot Raleys will go before the Planning Commission for consideration. The Area Research Associates impact study states that Raley’s will likely continue to operate a sales levels below optimal standards. The store is proposed on the east side of town in the Joerger Ranch at Highway 267 & Soaring Way,” said Grundman.

“In order to assess the likelihood of store closings from the opening of three proposed supermarkets in Truckee, the study utilized a multi-step process that began with conducting a detailed inventory of major existing and proposed stores that could reasonably be affected by the project. In particular, by gathering size and sales data for these stores, the study was able to measure their likely current profitability against standard benchmarks,” said Grundman.

“The study indicates that Truckee can only sustain the opening of one new grocery store,” continues Mr. Grundman. “This is not new news for the Town, as previous economic studies for the Town made similar conclusions. It’s troubling to think that the planning division is pushing forward three new stores in succession. We are calling on Town Officials to slow down this process, to digest the conclusions drawn from this new grocery impact study, as well as hear from the business community and broader public. The community does not need store closures and a blighted commercial center due to rushing the approval of several new grocery stores.”


Since 2014, Protect CEQA is a statewide coalition of environmentalists, labor members, and concerned residents committed to protecting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), open space preservation, and promoting smart growth development.

Sustainable Truckee is a group of concerned residents fighting to protect Truckee’s quality of life and small-town character by advocating for smart growth policies and principles for a sustainable future.

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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