Updated 1/9/12: The Publix store is closing at 7 p.m., Jan. 9, not 10 p.m. as was originally stated by Publix.
After 17 years in business, the Publix supermarket in the Memorial Bend shopping center on Memorial Drive is closing.
"We have made plans to close the Memorial Drive store on January 9 at 10 p.m., at the end of business that day, because the store has been for quite some time under-performing," said Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix.
"Our management team has been notified and all interested parties who would like to continue working with Publix will be given the opportunity to transfer to another store," Reid said.
Updated 12/4: Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix, told Patch this week that the company's decision was not because of the new Walmart. "This [under-performing] has been going on for several years," she said.
The store, which opened in 1995, has 85 associates, she said.
"It's a tragedy that we're losing a good, quality grocery store, said Vernell Kimbrough, a resident of nearby Hearthstone and president of the Hearthstone Community Club."Hopefully there will be another anchor that recognizes the potential in this neighborhood."
"It's like they're leaving without warning," he said.
After getting confirmation about the closing, Kimbrough alerted residents via e-mail on Friday.
In an e-mail to several DeKalb County commissioners and CEO Burrell Ellis, resident Jan Dunaway, board member of the grassroots community group Pride Rings in Stone Mountain, expressed concern about how the , may have impacted Publix's decision:
This loss will leave Memorial Drive with NO grocery stores from Columbia Drive to North Hairston which will have a great impact for those without transportation. Memorial Drive will also have another large empty store which is just what we need. I do not consider the opening of one store economic development if it forces the closure of others. What are the County and our elected officials doing to prevent other businesses from leaving? Is the County having regular conversation with Kroger or Office Depot to determine their long term plans and asking what can be done to maintain our existing businesses?
If the community cannot support a Publix, will the community be able to support a Walmart? It appears that Walmart puts more than just Mom and Pop stores at risk so we need to be proactive in preventing the demise of other stores along our continuing to decline corridor.
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