Grocery Store Attraction Strategies : A Resource Guide for Community Activists and Local Governments

Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Much has been written about the importance of food stores in lower income communities. Access to fresh food can be crucial to both the physical health of community residents and the economic health of the neighborhood itself. 

Drawing new stores into historically underserved areas is challenging. Alongside research documenting the need for grocery stores, there has been considerable research that highlights the signifi cant diffi culties that communities face in grocery store attraction and development. Several interrelated challenges must be overcome to attract a new grocery store and to have it be successful. 

Some communities have been successful—and with the right supports from government and community-based organizations, even more communities can succeed in the future. Published case studies highlight the ways that communities can successfully attract new stores and how the stores can be profi table, in spite of the many challenges that had to be overcome. In fact, a common theme in the profi les of successful projects is that stores in previously underserved areas often prove to be more profi table than the average grocery store. 

While previous reports have clearly documented the need, the challenges, and the real economic potential for new grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods, there are relatively few resources available to community advocates and local governments that describe how to attract or develop a new store. This report provides nuts and bolts resources to help communities organize a coordinated strategy for grocery store attraction. Because there are so many related challenges to be addressed, a short report can only provide a starting point. Throughout the document, we list available resources that can be used to attract new grocery stores to underserved communities.

More on Green Economy...