Sprouts Farmer's Market expected to open in Lakeland

(Source: Sprouts.com)
(Source: Sprouts.com)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - A new grocery store is coming to the Mid-South. With it comes great news for those who love specialty grocery stores and good bargains.

Experts say that when one grocery store chain is pretty much the only game in town, it makes that city a target for competition. That could be why a new Arizona-based grocer is making plans to sprout up in Shelby County.

When Lakeland's Country Bridge Shopping Center on Highway 64 lost its Kroger, adjacent businesses lost a lot of foot traffic.  

After sitting vacant for nearly three years, employees at Salon Allure are happy to hear another grocery store is coming. 

"I definitely think it will boost our walk-in clients," said Ashley Koontz, Salon Allure.

Sources tell WMC Action News 5 that Sprouts Farmer's Market, an Arizona-based grocer, is moving in.  

Lakeland City Manager Chris Thomas cannot reveal what he knows, but confirms there will be groceries and revenue.

"We're thinking it will bring in around $250,000 to $300,000 of sales tax revenue for the City of Lakeland, which is huge. That's 10 percent of our revenue," Thomas said.

Sprouts Farmer's Market is a self-proclaimed healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at affordable prices.

What's also healthy is injecting some competition into a Kroger-dominated market. 

"And that's put a target on its back, so a lot of grocers are looking at the market right now," said Ryan Poe, Memphis Business Journal.

For now, Sprouts isn't spilling the beans.  Its director of corporate communication said, "We won't announce the majority of our new 2015 stores until later this year."   

But, from everything WMC Action News 5 learned ... the cat is out of the grocery bag. 

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