business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I love stories like this one.

In Buffalo, North Dakota, the town’s only grocery store is closing this weekend. The owner, Fred Wrangler, said he was closing it down because he’d been unable to turn a profit for the past five years.

But the store is scheduled to reopen next Wednesday with a new name - Buffalo Food Market - and under new ownership ... residents of the community.

According to a wire story, residents of Buffalo were able to buy up to 100 shares in the store for $500 apiece, which resulted in the $50,000 necessary to buy out the inventory. It isn’t a very big store - there are just two employees, one full-time and one part-time - but next week, it’ll be back in business as a kind of public service.

I have no idea if it’ll be able to break even under the new arrangement, or if the whole idea is even sustainable. Time will tell, on both scores.

But it remains, to my mind, a cool idea, somehow hearkening back to a different place and time.

And in this place and time, that’s an eye-opener.
KC's View: