IGA Coming to Winnsboro

State Sen. Creighton Coleman outside the future home of the IGA grocery store in Winnsboro. (Photo/Barbara Ball)

State Sen. Creighton Coleman outside the future home of the IGA grocery store in Winnsboro. (Photo/Barbara Ball)

WINNSBORO (April 8, 2016) – When Walmart closed up shop at the end of January, it took with it more than just Fairfield County’s largest retail outlet. It also left Bi-Lo as the only grocery game in town.

That monopoly is now over.

This week, State Sen. Creighton Coleman (D-17) announced that IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) will soon be moving into the site once occupied by Food Lion in Fairfield Square, 133 Highway 321 Bypass S. The Food Lion closed its doors in 2012, leaving shoppers with only Walmart and Bi-Lo to choose from for their grocery needs.

“Negotiations have been going on for some time with IGA,” Coleman said, “but I didn’t think it was proper to say anything until the contract was signed. It’s signed. They’re coming.”

The effort to bring a second grocery chain into Fairfield County was a joint one, Coleman said. State Rep. MaryGail Douglas (D-41) joined forces with Coleman to help lure the IGA, and Coleman said the County government and the Town of Winnsboro worked together to get the deal done.

“After Walmart left, MaryGail and I started looking around and IGA was the logical choice,” Coleman said. “They came about two weeks ago and we met with them and the realtor at the store and looked at the site. And we contacted the Town and the County and asked them to look at incentives, and both were willing to sweeten the deal until IGA could get their feet under them. Everyone worked together.”

Once Coleman and Douglas had established the contacts, Coleman said, the legislators stepped aside and allowed the realtor, the County and the Town work through the details.

“We’re just elated they’ve decided to come,” Douglas said. “They’re coming at a really good time.”

Milton Pope, Interim County Administrator, said IGA was capitalizing on an incentives deal the County had floated after Walmart’s exodus. In an effort to attract new retailers, the County shortly after the Walmart closing committed up to $100,000 in marketing and incentives to bring in business. IGA, Pope said, was offered $50,000, paid out in two annual installments of $25,000 each.

“I also asked Council if they would direct me to reach out to the Town to get them to offer things,” Pope said. “There was a very positive response from the Town.”

Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy said Tuesday night that the Town offered some concession to IGA on building permits and inspection fees to aid in the grocer’s transition.

It was not known at press time when IGA planned to open for business, and efforts to reach the company and the realtor involved in the deal were unsuccessful at press time. But Coleman said he didn’t think Fairfield would have to wait too long.

“I would think pretty quick,” Coleman said. “They’re already paying rent.”

And IGA may not be the last storefront to make a new home in Winnsboro. Coleman and Pope both said this week that several businesses were looking at the former Goody’s store, also in Fairfield Square; however, neither would disclose who was doing the looking.


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