This Huge Grocery Store Chain Is Closing More Stores
Kroger made headlines earlier this year when it started shutting down some of its stores and laying off hundreds of employees in Southern California and Seattle after hazard pay ordinances passed in both areas. Now, the grocery store chain is closing even more locations, and this time, the stores are further east.
Two Kroger locations in Carrollton and White Hall, Ill.—both in Greene County with almost 50 employees—are closing before the summer, according to the Peoria Journal Star. When the location in White Hall closes, the closest grocery store will be over 20 miles away for local residents.
"It's a devastation to the town," White Hall Mayor Brad Staats told the newspaper. "We're going to lose jobs, revenue. It's going to disrupt a lot of people's lives."
In February, Kroger announced that two stores in Seattle would close after the city council passed a $4-an-hour hazard pay for frontline workers. In March, three stores in Los Angeles, two Ralphs and one Food4Less, closed when the city council passed a $5-an-hour hazard pay. Kroger had said the three stores were "underperforming," according to NBC Los Angeles. In early April, two councilmembers introduced a motion to investigate the reasons the stores closed.
While the Illinois closings aren't tied to hazard pay, a spokesperson for the grocery chain cited financial performance among other factors. "Company analysts report the stores have not operated profitably for several years and research indicates neither has realistic prospects for a turnaround," the company said in a statement, according to the newspaper. Eat This Not That! has reached out to Kroger for more info.
Even when the two locations were open, some parts of the area can be considered a food desert, which typically affects people at or below the poverty level from accessing healthy, fresh foods. When they shut down, a new food desert will be created between Jacksonville and Jerseyville, state Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer says.
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