Trotwood Dollar General closing, adding to lack of options in area

TROTWOOD — Dollar General will soon close one of its Trotwood locations, leaving residents with one less option for food and retail shopping.

A “store closing” banner has been hung at the Dollar General location at 5118 Salem Ave., though no closing date is specified.

Trotwood residents reacted to the planned closure Tuesday afternoon, with several saying it’s just one more blow to the area’s shopping options.

“I moved here 12 years ago, and I was rushing to get to Trotwood because of all the stores here,” said Marlan Johnson. “As soon as I got here, there went K-Mart, and all of the businesses around here started going.”

Pat Turpin, who lives near the Dollar General store, said she wasn’t surprised by news of the closing, but that its absence will be felt.

“It’s going to be a loss to the community around here,” she said. “We don’t have anything; I have to go to Beavercreek or Moraine to even shop for clothes or anything.”

Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald also said that while the closing will be a “blow to the neighborhood,” it isn’t a huge surprise.

“It’s the last business located in that (shopping) plaza,” McDonald said. “(A new Dollar General) was built down the street, so we knew eventually they were going to shift their business down in that direction, and that’s what they’ve done.”

McDonald said issues with staffing and from COVID-19 are likely to blame, at least in part, for the closure.

“They’ve had problems being able to keep their hours open, and they’ve also dealt with some COVID-19 issues that are challenging to many of the businesses,” McDonald said. “So, it was not necessarily a surprise; there was not a lot of traffic there because there’s not a lot that’s been going on in that plaza.”

Resident Pat Logan said she believes the taxpayers of Trotwood deserve better.

“I’m paying all these taxes out here, I’ve paid for my house, and we don’t have nothing?” she said. “Englewood, Huber Heights, Centerville (are all) flourishing; it don’t make sense that we don’t have anything. You come over here and we don’t even have a grocery store. It’s sad.”

In terms of full grocery stores, Trotwood has the Drexel Foodtown store after a second location on Main Street went out of business in 2019.

Many Trotwood residents travel to Kroger and Meijer in Englewood or to Kroger. McDonald said it’s hard for smaller stores to compete with the larger ones.

“What you have is a community that sits right in the middle, and these businesses are stretching our community as far as they can,” McDonald said. “The difficulty is that you’re talking about a 1% profit margin when you’re looking at grocery stores; there’s not a lot of money to be made off of them, so the bigger ones are putting the smaller ones out of business.”

The need to travel farther to grocery shop will inconvenience some, but could provide a barrier for those who don’t have the means to go the distance.

“I go to Kroger or Walmart in Englewood; we don’t have anything in our neighborhood,” Johnson said. “I’m blessed to have a car, but I feel sorry for people who don’t.”

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