Take a look inside the new Kroger in Downtown Indianapolis, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.
Kroger announced Tuesday that it will close its store in Broad Ripple in about a month because it wasn’t making enough money.
A financial analysis of the store at 6220 Guilford Ave. showed that “a turnaround is not realistic,” according to a company statement. The poor performance is specific to the location and not a broader problem, a company spokesman said.
About 40 employees will be offered jobs at nearby stores, the company said.
Kroger is the dominant grocery chain in the Indianapolis region, with two other locations fewer than 4 miles away, according to a 2018 analysis of the area by industry trade publication Chain Store Guide.
But the 66-year-old store in Broad Ripple faces competition from the upscale Fresh Thyme Market that opened in 2017, a seasonal farmer’s market and a popular health food store, all within walking distance. Another grocery chain, Meijer, also is a short drive away.
The Broad Ripple Village Association said it will help facilitate the redevelopment of the location after Kroger leaves, including addressing some safety concerns in the parking lot.
“It’s always disappointing to lose a long time fixture in any neighborhood,” said Colleen Fanning, the executive director of the association, in a statement. “Our near-term concern is the security of the parking lot and ensuring the safety of all Broad Ripple residents and visitors.”
The closure of the Broad Ripple store comes asCincinnati-based Kroger is reaping a surge in profits amid the pandemic.
The nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger posted $819 million in profits on sales of $30.5 billion in the second quarter, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last month. The amount in profits was nearly triple that of the same period last year.
“We delivered extremely strong results in the second quarter,” CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement in September. “We are more certain than ever that the strategic choices and investments made … have positioned Kroger to meet the moment, especially as customers are rediscovering their passion for food at home.”
The initial coronavirus pandemic shutdown and continued restrictions have hurt most businesses. Grocery stores, however, have seen demand surge as people rushed to stock up on food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other necessities at the start of the pandemic. These gains continued as people avoided restaurants, opting to cook at home, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Kayla Muhl, a waitress and painter in Indianapolis, said she was disappointed to hear of the Kroger closing because that means one less affordable food option for city residents.
Muhl had lived in Broad Ripple and occasionally visited the Kroger, as well as the other nearby grocery stores.
“One of the reasons I wanted to live in that area is that there are more grocery stores and more options,” she said.
Cincinnati Enquirer business reporter Alexander Coolidge contributed to this article.
Contact IndyStar business reporter Binghui Huang at 317-385-1595. Follow her on Twitter @Bhuang2012
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