(WRCB) - It was an emotional day at Food Lion stores across the Channel 3 viewing area Thursday as word spread that 13 stores will close for good in the next month.
On Hixson Pike Eileen Broadwater left the store with a cart full of groceries, but she's in tears. "I just talked to a couple of employees who've lost their jobs and they're going to have a really tough time," she says.
Broadwater is a loyal customer and says she can't imagine her neighborhood without Food Lion. "I'm really sorry about this. I'm sorry for the fact the stores are closing and for the fact that these employees lost their jobs," Broadwater says.
Across town on Wilcox Blvd. another loyal customer wonder's how she'll provide for her family after the store leaves. "Where are we going to go find our food in the evening time when we get off work, we don't have any other store to go to," Catherine Skelton says.
The Food Lion on Wilcox Blvd. is the only grocery store within five miles.
There are 13 Food Lions throughout the region, seven of them are in the Chattanooga area. The store in East Ridge is the only Food Lion that will remain open.
"We're going to have to drive all the way to East Ridge to get something to eat," asks Skelton. "It don't make no sense."
Nationwide 113 stores are closing, taking 49 hundred jobs and leaving customers like Skelton to find a new place to call their neighborhood grocery. "I'm gonna drive where I got to go, get me something to eat and make it back home," says Skelton.
According to Delhaize America's website, the closings are due to low revenue and an increase in competitive activity.
The company announced late Wednesday night it will close 113 underperforming stores across the country and cut 4,900 jobs.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:29 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:29:09 GMT
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