NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – The Kroger grocery store in Newport will close, according to the Newport Economic Development Commission.
The decision was announced on Monday.
In an email released by the commission, a spokesperson said "The abrupt decision announced yesterday (July 28th) by the Kroger Corporation to no longer be part of the Newport, Arkansas community has left loyal customers and dedicated employees stunned."
Kroger's Corporate Office told Newport Mayor David Stewart it was a financial decision to close the store. Mayor Stewart said the decision to close Kroger will affect both the city and Kroger's employees.
"Not only does this affect our tax revenue it also means up to 40 people out of a job," he said.
The Newport EDC said they will organize an in-store job fair for the employees who will lose their jobs. It's set for Thursday, August 7th. Any business wanting to reserve a time during the fair can contact the EDC at (870) 523-1009 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, a group in Newport is working to save the store. According to the email, "A grassroots group is making an effort to convince the Kroger Corporation to reverse their decision."
Newport resident Crystal Loftis is trying to put a group together to picket outside of Kroger until the corporate office reconsiders.
"I've offered to organize a group to picket the store everyday until they agree to let us keep our store," said Loftis. "A lot of people said they would be in on it if I got a group started."
Citizens are encouraged to contact the Kroger corporate office. The group has also created a Facebook page, Save Kroger, where people can learn more about the efforts to save the store.
To contact Kroger's Corporate Office call 1-866-221-4141.