Carrie Rengers

Rose Hill Apple Market to close around time of Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opening

A quarter-century after opening, Rose Hill Apple Market is closing.

“This town … is getting a little crowded, let me put it that way,” says Tim Voegeli, who owns the grocery store with his wife, Toni.

He’s referring to a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, which is opening Jan. 28 at 1407 N. Rose Hill Road in Rose Hill. Voegeli’s store is at 1060 N. Rose Hill Road.

“The size of the town and the people in the town will not support, in any way shape or form, two grocery stores,” Voegeli says.

He says he can’t compete with Wal-Mart.

“They’ve got a little more money than I do,” Voegeli says. “They will gladly lose money for a very long time in order to get the business that they want. All I would be doing is fighting a losing battle, unfortunately.”

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman would not comment on Voegeli’s remarks.

“We don’t comment on the competition, but I’m happy to talk to you about what our store offers,” Anne Hatfield says.

The new store will be about 12,000 square feet, which is the same size as Rose Hill Apple Market. The Neighborhood Market will have a full grocery line, a pharmacy, some household merchandise and a four-pump fuel center.

“I have seen what the stores are like,” Voegeli says. “I know the volume that they’re going to get.”

Starting Wednesday, the Voegelis will mark down items by 20 percent.

Voegeli says he’ll probably be closing in three or four weeks.

“We have some great customers, and we’ve enjoyed the 25 years, so it’s hard. It’s hard.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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