Crawfordsville is losing one of its two Kroger Stores.
The Paper learned Tuesday morning that Kroger’s Central Division told its employees that a decision was reached to close the store at 1440 Darlington Ave.
Company leaders attribute the decision to the store’s ongoing poor financial performance. Kroger has long monitored operations, hoping the store could return to reliable profitability; however, the latest evaluations suggest such improvement is no longer realistic. Therefore, the store will close within 30 days.
Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton said he was not surprised.
“This rumor has been out there for a while,” Barton said. “I reached out to Kroger in the fourth quarter of last year and didn’t get much.”
The closing of the store, along with the closing of County Market last year, leaves Crawfordsville with far fewer grocery options. However, that could change.
“We as a city are working diligently with other grocers about coming to this community,” Barton said, adding that he could not add more information at this time.
As for the 65 employees at the Darlington Avenue Kroger store, company officials said that some will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Crawfordsville’s other Kroger. The store at 1660 Crawfordsville Square Drive recently celebrated completion of a $2.6 million remodeling project. Kroger officials said other associates may choose opportunities at other Kroger stores in the area. Severance will be offered to qualified associates based on their length of service with the company. Members of the division’s Human Resources department will devote the coming weeks to answering the team’s questions regarding the transition.
Company leaders praised the store’s associates, saying the closing is not a reflection on them or their work. They have performed extremely well and have been committed to customer service in spite of the business challenges for their store. Kroger will continue to count on their dedication through the coming month.