Albertsons is leaving Green Country. The company announced it will sell all of its 23 Oklahoma stores, including eight in Tulsa. Seven of those will be bought by other companies, but the Albertson's on North Peoria will close. The News On 6â€™s Chris Wright reports the decision to close the store is distressing shoppers who say the loss of Albertsons will damage the North Tulsa economy.
When ground was broken on the North Peoria Albertsons five years ago the new store was viewed as a sign of progress for the area. It would create nearly a hundred jobs, and serve as an anchor for a new shopping center.
â€œIt's going to be a first class project with great economic stimulus for the community it's going to serve,â€ Albertsons Division Vice President David Jerry said five years ago.
But Albertsons will no longer serve the community. The other stores in Tulsa are being bought by Reasor's and Missouri-based RPCS, and for now, the fate of the Peoria store remains uncertain. Albertsons regulars worry it will remain vacant.
"I think this closing down is going to hurt the north side of Tulsa, especially the jobs," Tulsa resident Mark Jones said.
There is concern about what will happen to the rest of the shopping center once the Albertson's traffic is gone. The center is home to several other smaller businesses.
"Now that it's closing I hope someone comes in here to take over the store, or put another store in here," Tulsan Betty Henderson said.
Residents say most of the Albertsons employees live nearby, and worry about how the loss of dozens of jobs will affect the community. But the company has said that most employees will be given the chance to work for Reasor's or RPCS.
Besides being a boost for the local economy, residents say the Albertsons is convenient, as it is tough for some people to even get to a grocery store.
"It's hard for people to go shop, to get groceries in this area; people already pushing carts to get back and forth because they don't have transportation," said Jones.
There is no word yet on exactly when the North Tulsa store will shut down.
As for Albertsons stores outside of Tulsa, RPCS also bought stores in Bartlesville and Ponca City, and the Albertsons in Owasso will close.
Watch the video: Residents Upset By Closing Of Grocery Store
6/20/2007 Albertsons Announces Plans To Sell 23 Oklahoma Stores