LINCOLN — The Kroger store at 1475 Woodlawn Road in Lincoln is planning to close at the end of August based on a news release by Kroger’s Central Division in Indianapolis. The company said the decision to close was based on ongoing poor financial performance at the Lincoln location. The statement said the quick closure was based on the lease expiring at the end of the month.
Eric Halvorson, manager of corporate affairs and media spokesman with Kroger, said the closure was a hard decision to make but executive staff came to the conclusion that the store was not going to turn around.
“It’s never an easy decision to close a store, and I know the executive team gave much thought in the final decision,” Halvorson said.
He stressed that the closing is not a reflection of the store’s 76 employees or their work.
“The associates have performed extremely well and have been committed to customer service in spite of the business challenges around them,” he said in the release.
“The associates have been excellent and loyal and this is a business decision that reflects the change in shopping patterns,” Halvorson said.
Halvorson said employees would be offered an opportunity to transfer to another store in Bloomington or Normal.
“We wouldn’t turn them down. We are always needing well-trained employees.”
Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman said he is staying positive about the bad news for the Lincoln community.
“While it is truly unfortunate, we appreciate the many years Kroger’s has had a presence in Lincoln and hope that moving forward we can find something to fill the void for not only the store, but the many employees who served the customers well over the years,” wrote Goodman.
The building that houses Kroger in Lincoln is owned by RLP Development Company of Edwardsville.
Lincoln isn’t the only Kroger store closing as the company announced the Kroger in the Fairview Park Plaza in Decatur and another store in Indianapolis were closing at the end of the month because of the end of leasing agreements.
Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which dates to 1883, has about 2,800 stores in 35 states, with sales of $115.3 billion annually.