We all would like to know the real reason Kroger is closing its Wards Corner Store.
From The Virginia Pilot
Kroger is shuttering its Wards Corner store on Little Creek Road in mid-December, the company announced Thursday, and it doesn’t plan to open the Farm Fresh store it purchased right across the road.
According to a news release from Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division, the store is closing because of declining sales and profitability.
“The store’s low financial returns made it impossible to continue to operate while still upholding our low-price commitment to our customers,” Jerry Clontz, president of the Mid-Atlantic Division, said in a statement.
The store, Norfolk’s only Kroger, opened in 2000 and has 102 employees. The company is working on placing them at “nearby stores in Hampton Roads,” according to the release.
Since the company’s purchase of the Farm Fresh space at 230 E. Little Creek Road, store employees have been concerned that the existing store, right across the road, would close down. Employees that were members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 questioned whether they would be able to transfer employment, while retaining their earned benefits, promotions and wage rates.
This led to store employees marching through the existing store in May, demanding answers on the fate of their jobs.
But the union and grocery chain came to an agreement in a July memo, whereby if the existing store closed and a Kroger moved into the former Farm Fresh space, employees could transfer to the new store and bring their union benefits with them.
The agreement was valid within six months of the existing Kroger’s closing and the new store’s opening. At that time, Kroger had not announced plans for the vacant space.