City council members angry, disappointed over Kroger closings

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The decision to close multiple Krogers in Memphis is now drawing the ire of multiple city council members.

Edmund Ford and Jamita Swearengen, members of the Memphis City Council, are angry and disappointed.

"I was in disbelief because this is the community I live in and this is the Kroger where I shop," Swearengen said.

A Kroger representative claimed these closures are because the two locations lost millions of dollars since 2014. These are numbers Ford disputes.

"For the last 50 years, the community--the South Memphis community--has been loyal supporters. Is this how you treat supporters for five decades?" he asked.

He and Swearenegen asked for an extension on the closures but were told these decisions were final.

Ford showed a map of the Kroger locations and claimed that Kroger seems to focus only on opening stores in places where real estate developments are happening, which creates food deserts in areas that desperately need grocery stores.

Both are looking for another grocery store to move in and know that despite the fact these Krogers are scheduled to close their doors on Feb. 3, better days are still ahead.

"Through communication and solidarity, we shall overcome. We shall overcome," Swearengen said.

Both council members also said they are looking at creating MATA routes to help transport people in those areas to other Krogers.

When asked for comment, a Kroger spokesperson said in part that closing stores is always tough and that profits were indeed declining at those locations.

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