Many fear food desert as Kroger announces closure of Northern Lights store

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – People in a north Columbus neighborhood fear they will soon be living in a food desert after Kroger announced the grocery chain would close its Linden location at the end of January.

According to a statement from Kroger, the Northern Lights Kroger on the 3300 block of Cleveland Avenue will close on Jan. 31, 2018. The news comes as a shock to some and a disappointment to others in the area.

“I knew nothing about it closing,” said David Eileman. “I mean it’s close to me. I drive less than a mile to get here and it’s quick. If I need something, it’s right here.”

The neighborhood will still have one grocery store – a Save-A-Lot across the street from the Northern Lights Kroger – but many in the neighborhood fear it won’t be enough for an area already facing economic struggles.

“I think it’s going to be very detrimental to the community if they shut this down,” said Fredrick Gray.

Kroger’s vice president of operations, Mike Murphy, sent a statement about the store’s upcoming closure:

“Kroger continually evaluates each store’s performance to ensure that it is best meeting the needs of the communities, associates and shareholders we serve. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue a profitable operation at the 3353 Cleveland Avenue location.”

The Cleveland Avenue location has logged a negative profit over the past five years. Kroger told NBC4 that the company is not in a position to continue operating a store that is not profitable. The company would not speculate on what contributed to the decline in sales.

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