Britney Thornton and other Orange Mound activists speak out on the closing of the Kroger at Lamar Avenue. (Photo: Lee Eric Smith)

Citing millions in losses, on Wednesday, Kroger announced that three Memphis-area stores — two in Memphis and one in Clarksdale, Mississippi — would be closing on February 3.

One of those Memphis stores is located at 1977 S. Third St., in the Southgate shopping center. The other is at 2269 Lamar Ave., and serves Orange Mound. And several of the store’s patrons — who also represent various community and church organizations — spoke to media Thursday afternoon about what the closing will mean for them and their community.

They are NOT happy about it. Not one bit.

“It’s frustrating,” said Britney Thornton of Orange Mound. “The immediacy of Feb. 3 is very frustrating. This Kroger has been here since 1954, serving this community. For us to find out we only have a month to prepare for its absence . . . we are left wondering a lot.”

In a statement, Kroger said that combined, the stores have lost more than  $6.4 million since 2014. In addition to inviting customers to other Kroger locations, the statement also mentioned other competing grocery chains where residents can shop.

“Closing stores is always a difficult business decision to make,” said Scot Hendricks, president of Kroger’s Delta Division. “We review our store’s performance annually and unfortunately, despite our store team’s best efforts, profits steadily continued to decline at all three stores.”

We are following up with Kroger’s Delta Division to get more answers and we will post updates to this story as we get them. In the meantime, check out these Facebook Live videos from outside the Kroger on Lamar Avenue (Video by TSD freelancer Keith Sanders).

Britney Thornton talks about the effect Kroger’s closings will have on Orange Mound.

Angela Barksdale talks about the care and upkeep of the Kroger on Lamar Avenue.