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White’s/IGA in Jonesborough closes its doors, other chains set to expand

IGA Food Store customers in Jonesborough found themselves having to turn around and leave without a single item on Monday, as they were met with locked doors and an apology note.
A simple handwritten note printed on plain white poster board was the first and only notification that the store has closed.
The message to customers apologized for the inconvenience, thanked them for their patronage and suggested they shop at other IGA locations in the area.
Jonesborough Town Administrator Bob Browning, who first learned of the store closing when contacted by the Herald & Tribune, said the closure was like “losing an old friend.”
“That store has been there a long time,” Browning said. “It was Wright’s and then White’s and then IGA. It has served Jonesborough over a long period of time.”
Although Browning said he is sorry to see the business close, he admitted he wasn’t completely surprised.
“It’s a shame, but we’ve worried about that, especially with Food City and Ingles both expanding.”
Browning referred to Ingles’ plans to expand total square footage in the future and its interior improvements currently being completed.
Food City is also expanding, adding square footage to the back of the store and taking up adjacent space formerly occupied by a Dollar Wise store.
“It’s just sometimes hard for the IGA stores to compete in the bigger markets,” Browning said. “But still you hate to see anybody have to close up. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ve been having to get used to it lately.”
IGA is owned by Houchens Industries, an American employee-owned company located in Bowling Green, Ky. The company purchased the locally-owned White’s grocery chain in January 2010, keeping the Jonesborough store open under the new IGA management.
Calls to Houchens’ officials had not been returned at press time.