(07/11/14) - Flint city council member Jackie Poplar led a protest, Friday, over the impending closure of a Kroger store on the city's north side.
Kroger announced earlier this week it would close its supermarket on Pierson Road by Aug. 16. That's what led to Friday's demonstration.
"I'm going to fight them until they stick the last key in the door because they have devastated families," Poplar said. "What are these people going to do?"
The store in question originally opened in the early '90's as a Kessel store. It was later converted to a Kroger and became an important part of the north side community.
When Poplar learned the store was slated to close, she organized the protest. She also called the Cincinnati-based company and voiced her concerns, namely, that many of the customers don't have their own transportation and walk to the store.
Kroger has said the supermarket in the Hallwood Plaza is losing money. The lease is expiring and the company thought it was a good time to close.
The 85 employees will be allowed to transfer to other Kroger stores.
Poplar believes Kroger has a civic responsibility to remain open.
"I was told and I don't believe it that this store was not making money. Every time I come here to this store, people are coming and coming and coming. So, I think it's a hidden agenda by the Kroger Corporation," Poplar said.
"I don't know what I'm going to do right now. Stuff I can get here, they don't have at the other markets," said Paul Verdun, Kroger customer.
"People can come and catch the bus. It's in the neighborhood, so they can walk. It's a good location for them to keep it. People need it here. It's going to be hard when they leave to go other places," said Marilyn Jeffries, Kroger customer.
There is a Meijer 1.6 miles west. Mr. B's Foodland is 1.7 miles southeast.
Poplar says that's too far away for many current Kroger customers.