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Ruler Discount Foods opens in Bloomfield; president says location in county seat a major reason

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bloomfield resident Morgan Holtsclaw checks the prices in the Ruler Discount Food store advertisement Thursday morning, the first day the new store opened. Ruler is located in the former White's Regal Store building on East Main Street.( By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
Ruler Discount Food and Bloomfield town officials officially cut the ribbon Thursday morning opening the new store in White's Square.
(Photo by Heidi Puckett) [Order this photo]
Ruler Discount Foods Store cut the ribbon to officially open its newest outlet in Bloomfield on Thursday.

The store is located in White's Square, on the east side of Bloomfield, in the newly renovated building that formerly housed White's Regal Store.

Paul Bowen, division president for Jay C Foods, Inc., spoke at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce's noon luncheon at Pepperoni Grill on Thursday and said being a county seat is the major reason the store located in Bloomfield.

"Being a county seat is really something you have going for you. If you look at many of the business models for the supermarket industry, one of the best locations you can be in is in a county seat. A lot of that is because of the government offices around the community pull people from far distance into the community so to meet the needs of those people while they are in the community, it keeps business in that town and it gives you an extra source of business," Bowen said.

Another asset is an already established conventional grocery -- like Bloomfield IGA.

"For our kind of store to really work, you have to have a conventional place to shop. We don't have a deli. We don't have a meat-cutting department. We don't have a floral shop. We don't sell lottery tickets and don't do money orders and those kind of things," Bowen said. "What really happens is, people will shop in the value store and do their primary shopping in the traditional store."

Paul Bowen, division president for Jay C Foods, Inc., spoke at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce's noon luncheon at Pepperoni Grill on Thursday and said being a county seat is the major reason the store located in Bloomfield.
(By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
Bowen said market research studies done before the store opened also showed that the store location along State Road 54 (E. Main Street) is another advantage.

"You are on the outer fringe of a Walmart Store, so we are not right across the street from a Walmart, but we are within driving distance. When you are within a driving distance of a Walmart people are really moving about a lot and hopefully, they'll stop at your store ... what we are looking for in a community, this matches up the demographics of towns that we are already successful in," Bowen said.

Bowen, who started in the produce department for Jay C Foods nearly 40 years ago, said his company has been working on the Bloomfield store project for two years.

Bowen called Ruler "an extreme value store" and an "edited assortment store."

By edited variety story, Bowen means there are limited choices.

"You go into a traditional food market and you tend to have maybe 10 or 15 choices of green beans for example. We might have two choices," he commented.

"We have what you need, but we might not always have the brand that you want."

Bowen stressed that the company has to have the best prices and quality.

"People spending their money expect value for their money. Sometimes you get the image in a value store that it's all about saving money and it can be that. But really people shop in a store like ours that either need to save money, but those of us who are concerned about value, we don't just want the cheapest prices, we want to think we are getting something good for our money," he explained.

The company with a low-maintenance concrete floor has a budget-centered overhead with 25 cent cart rental, display of products in the boxes, and customers bag their own groceries.

The store has employed 12 individuals, 10 of whom live in the Greene County area.

Ruler stores are also located in Madison, Princeton, Bedford, Loogootee, Mitchell, and Salem.

Ruler has signed a lease with building owners Steve and Earl White.

White's Regal Store closed in 2006 -- ending 70 years in the grocery business by the White family in the town of Bloomfield. Before 1966, White's Store was located on the courthouse square.

A shopper bags her own groceries at the Ruler Store in Bloomfield.
(By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
JayC Foods, the largest private retail employer in Indiana, was founded in 1862 in Seymour as the John C. Groub Company.

In January 1999, Groub Co. was acquired by Kroger, who continues to operate 31 JayC locations.

Store hours will be Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Monday-Saturday 9. a.m.-8 p.m.

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I went to the grand opening and It was so full. It is a very nice store and a great asset to Bloomfield. I know we will not be going to Walmart unless there is something there we can't get here in town. You also cant beat the prices.

-- Posted by IHEARTU on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 4:18 PM

I'm so happy for the town of Bloomfield - they needed this for a long time !

-- Posted by cruella on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 4:38 PM

I'm not familiar with Ruler is it kind of along the lines of Save-a-Lot? I'm glad Bloomfield got a new store.

-- Posted by lintonite on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 5:22 PM

I'm glad they offer their own little niche without trying to throw out the IGA. I'm sure they will take some of IGA's business but they don't seem like like their trying to out due the other guy. I hope both business' can thrive in Bloomfield.

-- Posted by tellitlikeitis01 on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:24 PM

Great Day for the Opening of the New RULER grocery store!! It was good to see so many people happy and excited to see what Ruler has to offer its customers!! The prices are excellant!! Service was friendly and handled very professionally!! Thanks RULER for all the services you provide for so many people!! Greene County needs you!!

-- Posted by Magie on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 11:55 PM

lintonite - Ruler Discount Foods is a subdivision of JayC foods, which is owned by Kroger.

-- Posted by DominicReynolds on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 9:43 PM

I've been shopping at the Ruler in Loogootee for almost two years even though I live in Bloomfield. It will be so convenient for me to have it local rather than drive down to Loogootee every couple of weeks!

-- Posted by blondestranger on Sat, Apr 9, 2011, at 2:25 AM

I was there on Friday, and was very impressed. The store was clean, employees were friendly and well groomed, and the prices are great.

@lintonite...yes, it is along the lines of Aldi's or Save-a-Lot.

-- Posted by just sayin'... on Sun, Apr 10, 2011, at 6:16 PM

The will get our business instead of Wal Mart that is for sure. A good store we think. Hope they make a go of it, and I think they will do good!

-- Posted by dakotawing on Sat, May 28, 2011, at 8:23 AM

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