The Kroger grocery store in Lakeland Plaza will close its doors Nov. 17, a few months shy of its 20th anniversary, company officials confirmed Friday.
“We made this decision only after extensive and careful review,” said Kroger spokesman Glynn Jenkins. “Although closing this store is difficult, it is a necessary step toward making Kroger more competitive in the Atlanta market.”
For several years, the Cumming store has experienced declining sales and profits, Jenkins said, so “its closing will help Kroger operate more efficiently.”
The 80 associates working at the store will be considered for reassignment to other locations as outlined in a collective bargaining agreement, Jenkins said.
Kroger representatives will approach associates in the next few weeks to discuss reassignments and other options.
Lakeland Plaza leasing manager Steve Tart declined to comment Friday about the grocery store’s plan to break its lease.
“We have a lease with Kroger,” Tart said. “Kroger’s a tenant and until they’re not a tenant ... we’ll continue to operate in the manner that we’re in."
Cris Willis, co-owner of Parsons Gifts and Collectables in Lakeland, said she’s hoping the space will be filled with a boutique grocery store or supermarket.
“Anytime you have an empty space in your shopping center it’s not a good thing,” Willis said. “But I have confidence that the shopping center will be working hard to bring in somebody else great.
“I think it has a lot of upside potential.”
Jenkins said the Lakeland store is the only Forsyth Kroger that will close.
The company has three other nearby locations, on Bethelview Road and Freedom and Peachtree parkways.
Perishable items should sell out on their own, Jenkins said, but other items will be transferred to the nearby stores.
“We’re very confident that [customers] will continue to shop with us,” Jenkins said.