A trend seen all across the country is hitting Charlotte, N.C. Neighborhood grocery store, Compare Foods, is being pressure out by their landlord to make way for a new Walmart.
Grocery store owner Nancy Peralta said although her store's lease on the property runs through 2036, she recently received a letter saying the landlord wishes to terminate Compare Foods lease to make room for a Walmart Neighborhood Market.
“As a Latina-owned and -operated business, this situation is like David vs. Goliath,” she said. “I’ve worked my entire life and put all of my savings in making this store a success.”
Peralta said she is not alone in wanting Compare Foods to stay in place.
“It doesn’t involve just me and my family,: she said. "It involves 75-plus employees, and it involves the neighborhood."
Peralta and her store might be facing an uphill battle. Building permits have already been filed on the property indicating that the real estate company, Florida-based Sterling Company, has renovation plans in mind.
Sterling Company bought the lot in 2007, two years after Compare Foods had moved in. The real estate firm purchased the property for $14 million. At the time, Sterling seemed thrilled about having Compare Foods on their property. Chief Operating Officer Gregory Moross said the purchase as in line with company’s strategy of buying “Hispanic-oriented retail.” Moross called Compare Foods an “extremely well-performing and established Hispanic grocer.”
But the honeymoon between Sterling and Compare Foods seems to be over.
“They are suing me, asking me to get out,” Peralta said. “They sent me a letter saying they would be terminating my lease.”
An NBC affiliate in Charlotte has tried to contact Sterling Company multiple times, but they have yet to receive a response.