Early Saturday morning, Darryl Massey stopped into the Park Manor Delicatessen at the corner of Chelten and Pulaski to order breakfast for his father.
As the former Germantown resident waited for his food, he heard that right across the street at Chelten Plaza, there was a grand opening going on. It was for a new variety store called Deal$.
“It’s a good thing, but I have mixed feelings,” Massey said. “I wonder if it’s necessary to have so many convenience stores in such a short radius.”
Massey’s thought was based on the fact that a Family Dollar will open a block away on Chelten Avenue this Thursday, in an area which already has a Wayne Avenue Dollar Market and Germantown Dollar a little farther away on Germantown Avenue.
“Could we have benefited from something else being built?” Massey asked.
Positive reaction at new store
Residents that checked out the Deal$ grand opening on Saturday said they are excited for the new store.
“I didn’t even know this was here and I love dollar stores!” said Margarita Carr of Germantown. “It’s helpful to have this store as an option if I can’t afford to shop at a supermarket.”
The store officially opened on April 1, but commemorated its grand opening a week later with balloons, face painting and special guest SpongeBob SquarePants to greet customers.
“We are extremely excited to join the community,” said Shelly Davis, spokeswoman for the store.
Resident Phyllis Graves said she doesn’t understand the long-festering opposition to such a store opening in the new development.
“As a former employee with the city’s Revenue Department, everyone’s income and living situation is different,” Graves said. “This store gives low-income families a variety of quality choices to choose from. I wouldn’t be surprised if this store knocks out some of the current stores in the area.”
Walking past the grand opening Habiba Shakur said she was “mad, outraged and disgusted.”
“You only see these types of stores in the black community, selling items that are harmful to us physically and mentally,” Shakur said. “It shows that they only value us no more than one dollar.”
Another concern was the actual convenience the store offers senior citizens who use public transportation.
While trying to catch her breath, 57-year-old Sheila Smith walked towards the store from the bus stop on Chelten Avenue.
“Maybe SEPTA can add another bus stop between Save-A-Lot and Deal$,” she said, “or have the buses drive through the parking lot.”