(Photo By Flickr User Mike Kalasnik)
According to week.com, Kroger is closing two Peoria, IL stores.
The Wisconsin Avenue and Harmon Highway locations will close at the end of January, according to the company.
Spokesperson Eric Halvorson said they were not bringing in enough money.
He knows both employees and shoppers are concerned, which is why they are working with employees to preserve as many jobs as possible.
Halvorson and his team also plan to work with state legislators, hoping they can do something with the Wisconsin Avenue building since Kroger owns that building.
About 150 employees will be impacted.
“We don’t want to talk about it as losing jobs because our ultimate goal is to find jobs within Kroger with our other stores in the neighborhood.”
Tim Riggenbach, who is on the Peoria City Council, said,
“This is truly a punch in the gut for all of us in the neighborhood and it’s just really a day we hope would never come.”
Halvorson and his team tried saving the store with new pricing strategies, hoping the move would bring more shoppers in, but say that move failed.
“It’s a difficult decision from a personal standpoint. We hate the adjustment this imposes on the workers but the pace of the loss has escalated in recent years and we simply can’t keep these stores open anymore.”
Nearby residents will have to drive a few miles for groceries. Councilman Riggenbach hopes there are other solutions.
Councilman Riggenbach said,
“We respect the input of the citizens, the people who live here, who walk here, who shop here. Those are the people we’re going to be reaching out to see what next steps we can take as a city.”
The stores will start closing portions as they run out of inventory, though the pharmacy will stay open until the end of January.