Sanford: Kroger would be smart to help fill the void

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Let's be realistic. For profit companies exist to make money. No matter how involved they are in the communities they serve, businesses care most about their bottom line.

Which brings us to the much talked about decision by Kroger to close two of its Memphis stores — one on Lamar adjacent to Orange Mound and the other in the Southgate Shopping Center in South Memphis.

Officials at Kroger — the dominant supermarket chain in Greater Memphis — announced the decision last week, saying the two stores have lost a combined $4.7 million since 2014. The closings take effect February 3rd and will likely hurt nearby businesses that rely on grocery store traffic.

Naturally the announcement was not well received. These two neighborhoods need and deserve quality grocery stories. They should not be turned into food deserts.

Elected leaders who represent the areas affected by the closings are vowing to fight the decision or at least search for other grocers willing to fill the void. Hopefully they will be successful.

Kroger, a longtime neighbor, would be smart to help fill the void rather than act like a typical corporate giant that's only interested in dollars and cents, because far too many sections of Memphis already qualify as food deserts. The last thing we need are two more.

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