LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Needler's Fresh Market in Lafayette is closing at the end of this month. The grocery store opened just over a year ago. It's unclear what's causing the store to close as management is keeping a pretty tight lip.
The store officially opened in the Lafayette Station shopping plaza on Teal Road in August 2019. It took the place of Marsh Supermarket after the company filed for bankruptcy.
Having a grocery store in that location is crucial for this neighborhood. Needler's is the only store within walking distance for several homes in the area. Without a grocery store there, it's essentially creating a food desert for those residents who can't easily travel to further grocers.
Shoppers are sad to see it go. Many say it's the staff and atmosphere that's kept them coming.
"I like the store, I like the people so I come here as often as I can. It's a shame because it's a good location," said shopper, Jean Leuck.
"The pharmacists were amazing, the staff is just impeccable," said shopper, Lisa Zamora. "It breaks my heart because so many people are going to lose their jobs, so many people around here rely on this store right here."
People say pricing may have been a factor in the closure. They say Needler's prices couldn't compete with nearby stores like Payless Supermarket and Big Lots.
"Probably [closing] because there are not very many customers. I think it's the prices. I really do," said shopper, Kathy Carmack.
"A lady in there told me, she said she talked to management and said, you know, you've got to be competitive with the other places and she didn't feel they were," said Leuck.
Needler's is holding a 20% off entire store promotion right now. The store's last day is set for Friday, Jan. 29. It's unclear if or when a new store will fill this space. The closest grocer for these residents will become the Payless Supermarket located on Maple Point Drive near the Tippecanoe Mall.