Two central Illinois grocery stores are closing at the end of the month and the move is already stirring the pot in the River city.
“If you don’t have transportation you might not eat that night, and that’s as serious as this situation is,” said Wayne Cannon, east bluff resident.
People on Peoria’s east bluff and south side will soon have less options when they need to shop for food for their families. At the end of January, Kroger will be closing both the Wisconsin Avenue and Harmon Highway stores, leaving loyal customers unhappy.
“I was just telling the cashier, they do good business here, why is it closing? i said it pisses me off,” Rose Fuller.
Kroger representatives say the closings are not a reflection on employees’ work but attribute the decision to ongoing poor financial performances.
“They have been losing money for a very long time, and the pace of the loss has accelerated lately so because of that the economic performance or the financial performance of the stores forced the decision,” said Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson
City leaders say the news a punch in the gut to the community, stressing the importance of supplying good food sources for everyone in Peoria.
“When something like this happens it drives people outside of our community to spend money it’s a double whammy,” said Mayor Jim Ardis. He adds, “It’s something we are going to work on, it’s something that is very important to us. There really is nothing more basic to have accessibility to a good food source.”
“In a community this size we’re neighbors together, when one part hurts we all feel that pain,” said 3rd District Councilman Tim Riggenbach.
Kroger officials say they will continue to re-stock essentials like milk, bread, and meat until the end of the month but won’t be restocking less popular items.