It is indeed unfortunate that Kroger has opted to close the Dillons store in St. John as of Feb. 6. The store had been a key part of the Stafford County community’s identity for about three quarters of a century and was one of the first Dillons to open.
But we all know how corporate America works. It all comes down to dollars and cents.
Perhaps Kroger could have approached the pending closure differently and with more tact. Maybe the grocery giant could have given more advance notice.
However, the company cannot be totally to blamed. It is tough for a retail business, even one with such a national backing, to survive in a small town.
It just might have been nice if the company had offered to work with St. John on what it could do to stay there.
Kroger’s spokesperson said the company regretting the decision and that it was not easy to make. That doesn’t make the 22 employees or the community feel any better.
In the face of this bad news, though, the residents of St. John are to be commended. They have already held a town meeting to gather ideas, one of which was a citizens committee to look into options on how to bring another store to town.
Sure, there was some venting of frustration at the meeting like residents who said they will never set food in a Dillons again. But, by in large, it generated more ideas than it did resentment.
The matter is already on the City Council’s Feb. 2 agenda.
Kudos to city officials and city residents for taking such speedy action. It is hoped that you can find a solution to keep a grocery store in St. John.