New grocery stores coming to Cenla - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

New grocery stores coming to Cenla

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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Plans have been approved by the Rapides Area Planning Commission for two new grocery stores, one in Alexandria and one in Pineville.  

"First thing you do is you don't sleep at night," said Shane McDaniel, the Cenla manager for Mac's Fresh Market. 

McDaniel is dealing with the news that two new grocery stores are coming to town: one on Jackson Street Extension in Alexandria and one on Hwy. 28 East in Pineville.  

There's been no confirmation yet which grocery stores they'll be, but residents have an idea.  

"From what we hear, it's a Walmart coming to town," said McDaniel. "It's a neighborhood Market."

The Rapides Area Planning Commission has approved these plans for the two stores, and now it's on to the respective cities to finalize land sales and grant building permits.  

"When they're bringing in a new market or new chain or whatever, obviously there's others around but we're going to do everything we can to be supportive of everyone," said Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields. "That's how we try to do business. If our growth continues on the pace we're at, I think it will be advantageous for everyone."

Some Alexandria residents say more development is good, depending on what it is.  

"I think it's going to be convenient," said Alexandria resident Julie Blalock, "but at the same time, I think Alexandria residents really want to see more local businesses, more small businesses."

Some are concerned about there being enough business go around.  

"There's only so much of the pie," said McDaniel. "All we'll do is split it up a little."

"The ideal of economic development or expansion of any business is to grow the pie, not slice it into smaller pieces," said Chuck Fowler, the president of the Alexandria City Council. "Both things could happen. It's the American way, it's competition, and I hope it makes everybody better."

But for now, Shane McDaniel and his Mac's Fresh Market staff will continue to serve and appreciate their customers.

"It's not just how good of a job we've done, it's what we plan to do," said McDaniel. "And that's whatever it takes to keep our customers."

News Channel 5 reached out to Walmart to ask if these stores will be Neighborhood Markets, but the corporate office will not confirm or deny at this point.  

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