Kroger is Klosed:

Here's What You Need to Know

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Kroger is Klosed:

Rows upon rows of empty aisles are all that remain of Fairview's Kroger

Rows upon rows of empty aisles are all that remain of Fairview's Kroger

Photo by: Athena Pajer

Rows upon rows of empty aisles are all that remain of Fairview's Kroger

Photo by: Athena Pajer

Photo by: Athena Pajer

Rows upon rows of empty aisles are all that remain of Fairview's Kroger

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Well folks, that’s a wrap.

After nearly sixty years of serving Decatur residents and Millikin students, the curtain is closing on the Kroger in Fairview Plaza.

Kroger announced on Thursday, August 2,  that it would be closing its doors at the end of the month.

“Kroger has long monitored operations of the store at 1401 W. King St., hoping it could return to profitability; however, recent evaluations suggest such improvement is no longer realistic,” Kroger executives said in a statement to the Herald & Review. “So, with the lease due to expire, the store will cease operations by the end of this month.”

Opening in 1958, Kroger was one of the first stores in the Fairview plaza strip and served all the basic grocery and care needs for the West End of Decatur. It was open twenty-four hours a day, giving easy and reliable access whenever you needed it with a less than 13-minute walk for Millikin students.

The closing of the Kroger sparked a lot of reaction in the aftermath of the announcement which led to a protest to save the store on August 7 with members of the community and Millikin coming out to pressure Kroger into reconsidering. The response of the protest by Eric Halvorson, manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s central division, said in an email that the Decatur rally represents the personal connection that develops between shoppers, employees and the stores.

That being said, according to the Herald & Review, Halvorson said the company appreciated the spirit that inspired the gathering. The store would still close.

This is not the only major closing Fairview plaza. Convey Health Solutions, a call center that employs around 150 people also announced it is closing in September due to issues with staff quality and growth in Decatur. The predecessor to the space, Startek, also closed their store in Fairview in a mass layoff that left over 250 people without a job.

To add to the closings around Decatur, the County Market on Pershing Road has announced its closing.

Regarding Millikin, the Closing of Kroger is felt deeply across campus as chunks of students, particularly among freshman and international students who do not have vehicles to drive to other locations. Even the closest Save-A-Lot at least a 15-minute walk to and from campus.

Even older students from Millikin with cars such as Ian Davis, a junior, described the closing of the Kroger as an interruption to the convenient student lifestyle and a freedom that was lost. Some other students such as Cierra Patrick described it even more simply.

“My life is ruined,” Patrick said.

Campus has been hit with a sudden streak of closings and odd events not only at Fairview but at the Wood Street block with Blue Spoon closing its doors.

Despite the unfortunate streak around campus during the summer, students who can make the walk to Save-A-Lot will find that a lot of their basic food and odds-and-ends needs can be met.

As time goes on we will see how other grocery stores react to the sudden closings. Save-A-Lot and Aldi’s have the ball in their court to capitalize on the events going on in our small town.

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