A local Walmart is closing its doors in St. Petersburg and it’s not the first big grocery chain closure at this location.
- Walmart Neighborhood Market on 22nd Street South closing March 4
- Store opened in 2014, replacing Sweetbay grocery store
- 75 employees displaced, residents left without grocery store
In a statement Tuesday it was announced the Walmart Neighborhood Market on 22nd Street South and 18th Avenue South will be closing down. The store will close on March 4. The pharmacy will close Feb. 1.
The Walmart opened in 2014. It replaced a Sweetbay grocery store after that chain of stores closed.
Now the 75 employees will either transfer to another Walmart location or find someplace else to work.
Walmart released a statement Tuesday, citing a number of factors for the closure, including financial performance.
The company also offered the 75 current employees who can't or don't want to transfer resume and application training.
This closure is also bad news for people like Curtis Williams, who catches to the bus to the store to shop once a week.
“We need a store here right in the neighborhood for people who don’t have transportation. I don’t have a car. I’m sitting here now waiting on the bus. I’ve got my bag full of groceries right here,” Williams said.
Like Williams, many others depend on the location. Temeika Reynolds said she takes the bus the store at least a couple times a week. “It’s real convenient, especially for a lot of people who don’t have transportation to get to the further out Walmart. It was very convenient,” she said.
St. Petersburg Councilmember Karl Nurse represents this area, and he said he doesn’t think all things were considered with this closure.
“It’s a kick in the teeth,” Nurse said. “Part of what makes it so difficult is that national stores are just looking at numbers and they may know nothing about the community, they may nothing about what’s coming down the pike. It’s just, here’s our weakest stores. Here’s the line. They’re closing.”
Nurse said a solution may take months or a even a year. No matter the timeline, he says he’s hoping there’s a solution that helps this community.