A Grocery Story of Possible Interest

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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eltf177
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Posts: 20
Joined: 22 Aug 2021 16:08

A Grocery Story of Possible Interest

Post by eltf177 »

My brother and I were talking the other day and this topic came up.

First, read this article:

http://www.sovanow.com/index.php?/news/ ... hase_city/

I'll make a separate post of what REALLY was going on...

ETA: Fixed the link, sorry about that...
eltf177
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 22 Aug 2021 16:08

Re: A Grocery Story of Possible Interest

Post by eltf177 »

This article just doesn't tell the entire story. But first some background:

My late mother loved a certain brand of Coffee Yogurt. The problem was it was usually not carried. My brother worked with one of the managers at Lowe's to make special orders for mom, and they became chums.

The store was NOT under-performing, with Food Lion in town both kept the other on their toes and prices remained competitive. They weren't doing as well as they could be if they were the only game in town but they WERE making money.

What happened was their lease was due for renewal. No big deal, a new lease is negotiated at a slightly higher rate and the world marches on. Not this time.

For some reason the plaza management raised the rate an unreasonable degree (something like 25-30% IIRC). It meant that the store would no longer be able to show a profit.

Lowe's Regional management plus the store manager both tried to get the rate down to a manageable amount but the plaza's management refused to budge. At that point the store either needed to move (and there were no other stores available in the area that met their needs) or close. They chose the latter, due to the high renewal rate there was zero chance of a Just$ave moving in to replace it.

So Lowe's closed. And to no one's surprise Food Lion raised prices almost immediately, something no one was happy about. And the problem is all other grocery stores in the area are far enough away that a special trip for groceries will not save you money when you factor in gas, wear and tear on the car and time. So you pay the higher prices...

And in the almost 10 years since Lowe's closed the store has sat empty, as has most of the plaza itself. It's truly an eyesore.

Odds are it's being used as a tax write-off for the management companies other properties and my brother is adamant that this shouldn't be allowed to happen; either get the place filled, sell it or tear it down.


And it reminds me of a story which involves a used-car dealership and tax write-off's. I hope no one minds if I add it to this tale.

Back in the early-mid 80's when my brother and I were driving back and forth from western Loudoun County to college in Fredericksburg we used to pass a used car dealership on Route 15 in Haymarket. The first oddity was that the listed hours were short and quite unsuitable for a business, then they never seemed to be open during those hours.

A number of years later I read a long article about this place in THE WASHINGTON POST (I wished I'd saved it). Both the IRS (Federal Tax) and the VA State Taxation Office had investigated and both determined the dealership did _not_ meet the criteria of a business (VA has a number of criteria for days/hours of operation of a legitimate business). Turns out the owner was using the place as a huge tax write off for his other business. Both the IRS and VSTO said "nope" and IIRC between the two of them and Haymarket (dealership was in their jurisdiction) the unpaid taxes, interest and penalties totaled about US $1.2 million. The owner's attorney said his client planned to appeal (based on what I never could guess, I doubt "I didn't plan on getting caught" or "my client's an idiot" would fly well).

Unfortunately I never read any follow-up to this but I doubt the owner prevailed in the end.
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