LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Many people who shop at the Walmart Neighborhood Market are upset the store is set to close in November.
The store closing means people who live near downtown and surrounding neighborhoods have to travel further distances to get to a grocery store.
"I just hate to see it go and I hate to see people lose their job like that," customer Stephen Dykes said. "It's been such a staple in the community."
Dykes met his wife at the store about four years ago.
“This is where I met the love of my life so I’m sad to see it go,” he said.
Donna Cornish lives just down the road from the store, and she said the news broke her heart.
"I use it probably twice a week. I live in this area. and I have a back problem so it's just easier to come here for me," Cornish said.
It’s not just customers who are losing out, however.
"I just talked to a cashier and they're all upset about it,” Cornish said.
Customer Jessica Poynter agreed.
"I'm sad about the loss of jobs, too, I was talking to a woman in there and I think that's a big economic impact in Little Rock," Poynter said.
Gabe Holmstrom with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership said customers should not give up hope, yet.
"I feel confident that somebody is going to fill that void. I like to look at things in a positive light this is going to create an opportunity for somebody else to come in here,” Holmstrom said.
But there is one store many people hope to see take Walmart's place.
"A Trader Joe's. I think a Trader Joe's would be great," Poynter said.
"Who knows, maybe this is what it's going to take to get a Trader Joe's to downtown Little Rock. How great would that be?" Holmstrom said.
In a statement, Walmart said:
“The Cantrell Road Walmart Neighborhood Market will close Nov 2. We are hopeful the associates there will want to continue their career with Walmart and transfer to one of the seven stores within eight miles of this location. The decision to close the Cantrell Road Neighborhood Market is not an easy one, and is in no way, a reflection of the hard work and customer service provided by the leadership and associates at the store. As a company, we are committed to Arkansas, as evidenced by our recent announcement to stay true to our Arkansas roots and build a new corporate headquarters in Bentonville, and by the constant stream of innovations we test in our home markets in order to better serve today’s customers. We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them. We look forward to serving them at our nearby locations and online at http://walmart.com.”
The Neighborhood Market will close November 2. There are no plans for a replacement.
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