12/19/11 — Harris Teeter not yet a 'yes' for city

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Harris Teeter not yet a 'yes' for city

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on December 19, 2011 1:46 PM

Despite posts from the Harris Teeter Facebook account and other rumors, there are no specific plans to bring one of the Charlotte-based company's grocery stores to Goldsboro, a spokesperson for the company said today.

A Facebook group, Bring Harris Teeter to Goldsboro, has attracted some 2,200 fans and spawned messages sent to Harris Teeter's corporate account, where responses seemed to confirm the company's intentions to bring a store to Wayne County.

"We have just confirmed plans for a store in Goldsboro, NC," the posts read. "We do not have any finalized information but it is projected for 2013!"

But Danna Jones, the company's communication specialist who runs the corporate social media accounts, said those postings were erroneous and would likely spawn a new social media policy. Ms. Jones said she had not posted them and was still seeking out who had made the hasty announcement this morning. The posts have since been deleted.

Harris Teeter's corporate policy is to not discuss store openings unless a lease has been executed for a future site. Ms. Jones spoke with the company's director of real estate this morning and said there were no executed leases for locations in Goldsboro.

She said the reason for that policy was that business negotiations ahead of signed contracts could change at any time.

"It could change at the drop of the hat," she said, though she said the rumors that a Harris Teeter could be on its way couldn't totally be debunked. "I can't imagine this came out of nowhere, but the only thing I can absolutely confirm is we don't have an executed lease."

Goldsboro Planning Director Randy Guthrie said a representative from Harris Teeter had met with him recently, but that no specifics were discussed. Guthrie said the talk mostly concerned which areas of town would be best for a future location.

Guthrie said a different representative from the company had spoken with him about six months ago and that the preliminary talks were commonplace.