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Closure of Kroger impacts North Lake Charles

Published: May. 7, 2019 at 8:10 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - You’ve heard the news by now. The Kroger on 12th street will not be renewing it’s lease and is set to close in July. Those who live close to the closing location consider this a huge loss for their area.

Devin Taylor, a long time resident of Lake Charles, says the announced closure has upset him.

“This store serves a purpose in it’s community and the closure of it would be a great inconvenience," Taylor said. “The prices here at this Kroger are very reasonable compared to other stores.”

Craig Marks, President of the Lake Charles North Redevelopment Authority says this is more than just a store closure.

“You look at South Lake Charles and you say it’s extremely better than the North Lake Charles," Marks said. "Visitors coming in they’re going to migrate that way. And I don’t think that’s the way a city should be.”

Marks say he wants to inform residents that they may be part of the blame.

“Business is going to where they’re required to go, where the dollar dictates that they go," Marks said. “Residents have to support the businesses in that area. If you don’t do that, I don’t care how much money you got. The business is not going to stay.”

The grocery store chain gave the following statement:

“We have made the very difficult decision to close the Kroger store located at 600 12th Street in Lake Charles, Louisiana when the lease expires in July. We carefully assess all alternatives before closing a store. Within the past several years, we have attempted measures to increase sales, profitability and the shopping experience at this location. We greatly appreciate the Lake Charles Associates and community. The approximately 79 Store Associates employed at this location will be offered positions at other nearby stores.”

Marks said there was a time when North Lake Charles was more developed.

“Everything that South Lake Charles had we had on this side of town,” Marks said. “But it’s becoming a distinct line between north and south which is not the way it’s supposed to be.”

Marks says it’s important to attract business, but it’s also necessary to support that business.

“The stores thrive off the residents it’s not the other way around,” Marks said.

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