CHICAGO (WLS) – Losing the Save-A-Lot business in the Austin neighborhood could create an even bigger food wasteland for the area and pose an even greater challenge for residents.
Brenda White and Deborah Tyler live a few doors down from the Save A Lot store. It’s the closest place to get groceries, or at least it was. They came Thursday to discover that the store had closed its doors. Tyler said she often came every other day just to get something that was needed.
Former customers stopped by all day to learn that the store is closed. The Save A Lot exit leaves the neighborhood with relatively few options for fresh fruits and vegetables and other groceries. Some call the area a food desert.
West Side State representative La Shawn Ford said many in the neighborhood are dependent on Save A Lot.
“There are stores on Chicago’s West Side, but for people who rely on public transportation or walk to Save A Lot, it will be devastating for them,” said Ford.
A company spokesperson did not provide any insight into the reasons for the store’s closure and instead issued a statement: “We take the decision to close a Save A Lot location very seriously and regularly review our stores for a number of factors. As part of it We made the difficult decision to forego extending our rental agreement for our Chicago business. “
Alderman Emma Mitts said she focused her efforts on getting the company to reverse course and stay here. Now she will focus on finding someone to fill the void.
“We will commit to keep working on bringing in another grocery store there,” said Ald. Mittens said.
The Ford state representative believes the business has been profitable and is hoping to find a local owner rather than a foreign company to move to the location.
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