ST. GEORGE – On Wednesday, Traders Discount Markets will open in the shopping center on the corner of 700 South and Bluff Street in St. George, alongside some 15 businesses ranging from chain retailers Kmart and Payless ShoeSource to “Mom and Pop” stores 1st Survival Gear and PC Innovation Computers.
“I’m hoping it will increase all of the shopping center’s business,” said Marcia Moss, owner of Dandylion Wishes. “I think it will be a good thing. We’ll wait and see.”
Traders Discount Markets will occupy the building at 855 South Bluff that was vacated by Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts in the summer of 2012.
The shopping center has been short a grocery store since Albertsons closed in July 2013, citing a lack of profitability and overwhelming competition. The loss of two major retailers within a year was a tough blow to neighboring businesses.
“It did hurt everybody in the plaza,” RadioShack sales manager Kevin Vasquez said. “We didn’t have as many people shopping here that came over to look around.”
Travis J. Parry, a commercial real estate agent with Cushman & Wakefield | Commerce in St. George, said that the complex is bound to benefit from the arrival of Traders Discount Markets. However, given its age (built in the mid-1980s) and lack of any recent upgrades, the probability of any larger retailer giving it the boost it really needs is slim.
“I’d say the market going to bring some foot traffic and will most likely be a positive for the shopping center,” he said. “How much it will help remains to be seen. It depends on how good they are at marketing and advertising.”
“I would definitely try it out. The name is enticing,” local resident Eric Yunker said. “I’m glad another grocery store is moving in.”
Traders Discount Markets was created by local couples Dan and Jenny Krispin, and Hank and Mariangela Landau. Having worked in the grocery industry, Dan Krispin’s goal was to eventually own a store. He presented the idea of opening a discount market to the Landaus around Christmas, and they agreed to go into business together.
“It’s been a whirlwind. It feels like we started 20 minutes ago!” Mariangela Landau said.
The Krispins have lived in St. George since 1992 and care about the community; they want to provide their neighbors with an affordable place to shop so that every family can get what they need, Jenny Krispin said.
Their growing staff consists of 14 employees. Most previously worked at Staples on Bluff Street, and were laid off when the store closed on March 29. And while grocery chains tend to hire at minimum wage, Traders Discount Market workers will start slightly higher, as Dan Krispin believes “you get what you pay for.”
The store will carry not only grocery, but health and beauty, bakery, general merchandise, paper and plastic, cleaning and laundry, baby and kids, and pet products. Additionally, fresh produce, purchased directly from growers in southern California, will be offered in the near future.
“I would consider shopping at Traders Discount Markets,” local resident Jamie Bahlmann said. “I would check price point and quality, and then base my decision on those two things.”
Products are overstock, discontinued or defective (dented boxes, ripped packaging, etc.) that chain stores refuse to carry. Manufacturers, needing to make a profit, sell them to discount stores at greatly reduced prices, allowing the customer the same benefit.
With 40-60 percent savings on most items, Dan Krispin said there is no other store in the St. George area that can compete with Traders Discount Markets.
Frugality extends beyond the products they carry. The store’s checkstands were bought from a Kroger in South Carolina, the shelves from an Ace Hardware in Phoenix, and most of the shopping carts were discarded by Home Depot.
They have hired virtually no help outside of their own staff to renovate and prepare the store for business. Every day, the Krispin and Landau families arrive around 7 a.m. and often, don’t leave until midnight.
“That’s what it takes to make something like this happen,” Dan Krispin said.
“We’re thrilled to have the new business in here,” Cat Lofgran of Focus Eye Center said. “It’ll bring more people back to the center and hopefully, create some excitement.”
Though the store is opening for business Wednesday, Traders Discount Markets will hold a grand opening event within the next 45 days. Special deals, coupons and other announcements will be posted via Facebook.
Event details and contact information
- What: Opening day of Traders Discount Markets | Website or Facebook
- When: Wednesday, April 16, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Where: 855 South Bluff Street, St. George in the Kmart shopping center
- Contact/more information: Traders Discount Markets – 435-714-6526435-714-6526
- Albertsons on Bluff Street closes, aging shopping center takes another hit
- Company-wide downsizing closes Staples on Bluff Street
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