Morning Headlines: Deserts to Be Created in Philadelphia?

Food deserts, that is.

Screen shot from a Bottom Dollar virtual tour.

Screen shot from a Bottom Dollar virtual tour.

The supermarket chain Bottom Dollar Food has announced that it will sell off its 46 Philly-area stores (and 20 in the Pittsburgh vicinity) and shut down business altogether. The stores will close at the end of the year, putting some 2,200 people out of work, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

This has big implications for neighborhoods that lobbied for years for a supermarket, finally got one, and were able to draw more development and new residents as a result. Having a supermarket in a neighborhood shifts the real estate perspective significantly, but more importantly, of course, it means healthy options for families that relied heavily on corner stores with packaged goods for food.

Though the land and buildings (and some leases) will be acquired by ALDI, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports that ALDI is not yet saying if all former Bottom Dollar locations will become ALDI stores — or even food stores at all. That deal doesn’t even close until January 2015. Let’s hope the deal goes through, ALDI turns the stores into supermarkets with fresh produce, and Philly neighborhoods retain sweet WalkScores because they still have their grocery stores.

Bottom Dollar Food selling all 66 stores, then shutting down

Will former Bottom Dollar Food stores become Aldi? Too soon to say, retailer says