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Buford Kroger closing after 25 years

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Dreama Duncan shops with Chandler, 5, and 16-month-old Annabelle, at the Kroger on Buford Highway, which will close its doors on Friday after 25 years of service to the Buford community.

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Dreama Duncan shops with Chandler, 5, and 16-month-old Annabelle, at the Kroger on Buford Highway, which will close its doors on Friday after 25 years of service to the Buford community.

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Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Cake Decorator Renee Descente puts orange sale stickers on items Wednesday. Descente said she's transferring to the Kroger in Cumming, but has enjoyed working for the past three years at the Buford location.

BUFORD -- Delia Williams was getting some good deals on Wednesday. Whole Tyson Chickens for $2 each. Big slabs of beef ribs for $7. Williams and son, Ace, stacked boxes of cereal and 12-packs of soda in their shopping cart, eyes open for more red sticker markdowns.

Despite the discounts, Williams said she was in a funk.

"I can't believe my favorite store is closing," she said, eyeing the brightly-lit aisles of the Kroger on Buford Highway Wednesday for one last time. "It's a shame. It's a loss to the community."

The Kroger Co. announced this week that after 25 years the location will close its doors on Friday. It's a decision that came after "extensive and careful review," said Glynn Jenkins, communications and public relations director of Kroger's Atlanta Division.

"This particular location has experienced declining sales and negative profit over an extended period of time, and its closing will help Kroger operate more efficiently," Jenkins said.

That was a shock to Williams. "Seems like it's always had people here shopping no matter what time you showed up," she said. "I didn't know they were struggling."

Added Williams: "The people who work here are so nice. Excellent customer service."

According to Jenkins, the store's 77 employees are "all being considered for reassignment to other locations."

Renee Descente, a cake decorator at the Buford store for three years, said it actually worked out better for her commute. "I hate that the store is closing ... but I'll be working even closer to home, at the Kroger in Cumming."

Descente said she recalls when the Kmart, which used to occupy the same shopping center at 1605 Buford Highway, suffered a similar fate in December 2011.

"I imagine the building is just getting too old and too expensive to repair," she said.

Longtime customer Dreama Duncan, who perused the aisles Wednesday, said she wishes it weren't so.

"It's not going to be as convenient to go shopping," Duncan said. "I live just a couple minutes from here, and now I'll be driving much farther." She said she does plan to continue shopping at Kroger stores.

According to Jenkins, Kroger will operate 129 locations in the metro Atlanta area upon the closing of the Buford store. Nearby locations include stores at 6001 Cumming Highway, Sugar Hill; 3300 Hamilton Mill Road, Buford; and 400 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Suwanee.

Map

Location of the Kroger closing

Location of the Kroger closing

Comments

gwinnettisgreat1 2 years, 2 months ago

I worked here when I was in High School. The manager at the time... wish I could recall his name... was a jerk! He fired people almost weekly always accusing them of stealing or misuse of company time. He even went so far to have Kroger security try and set a trap to catch cashiers stealing money and baggers stealing merchandise. He was also well known for falsly accusing shoppers of shop lifting. Barney Fife was a Kroger store manager. No wonder they are going out of business. The manager spent more time trying to play mall cop than he did managing his store. The area around this Kroger has turned into a ghetto anyways, I imagine that did not help either.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

I worked there while in high school, as well. I was once verbally reprimanded and dressed-down in front of customers because I wore a WWJD? bracelet (Guess that dates this story, huh? I haven't seen one of those in years). I didn't stay much longer after that.

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teelee 2 years, 2 months ago

Wonderful, yet another empty business in Gwinnett County. Was it because they didn't accept food stamps? Seems to be the way America pays for food now.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone else heard that Aldi is looking to open a store in the old K-Mart building?

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snaggy 2 years, 2 months ago

too bad. I have been to that store several times. Was always treated well.

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