Kroger Closing Plaza Store Aug. 25

The Kroger Corp. has no immediate plans to open another store in Benwood after the current store closes Aug. 25, company spokeswoman Jackie Siekmann said.

The company announced Friday that it would close the Benwood store this summer. The owner of the plaza where Kroger is located, IMI Fabi, which operates the adjacent talcum powder plant, has other plans for the area and did not extend the company’s lease.

Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca said he and others were hopeful that Kroger would consider another site in the city for a store, but Siekmann noted that currently would not be an option.

“We have terrific associates in our Benwood store who have worked hard to serve their community,” said Bernie Anders, district manager of the Ohio Valley Kroger stores. “Unfortunately, our lease is expiring at this location, and the landlord has different plans for the property, so we have no choice but to close the store on Aug. 25.”

A call to IMI Fabi’s Benwood office was not returned Friday.

Anders said all 61 store associates at the Benwood store will be offered employment opportunities at other locations in the surrounding area. Kroger currently employs 1,136 associates in the Wheeling-Steubenville region. He also added that Kroger will continue its commitment and service to the Ohio Valley.

“Kroger is a long-time partner within the Ohio Valley grocery industry,” said Anders. “We are committed to the valley, our associates, our customers and the community.”

Kuca said Benwood would continue to look for a grocer to locate in the city.

“We have a location and a willing developer, so I’m certain we will have some type of grocery operation for our residents and also the residents of McMechen and South Wheeling,” he said.