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Dillons Stores, the Hutchinson, Kan.-based division of the Kroger Co., will exit the Springfield, Mo., market by January 2015. The move will affect approximately 400 stores associates.
Springfield-based Price Cutter Supermarkets (RPCS Inc.) agreed to buy the real estate and equipment for the four stores after January 2015, terms of which were not revealed.
“The decision to exit Springfield is a regrettable, but necessary step following the regular assessment of our supermarket operations,” said Sheila Lowrie, a spokeswoman for Dillons, in local media reports. Dillons operates 86 stores in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska and employs more than 12,000 associates.
The Dillons stores in question – located at 1707 W. Battlefield Road; 1831 W. Kearney St.; 2843 E. Sunshine St.; and 1260 St. Louis St. – are cutting store hours from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. beginning this week while the in-store pharmacies in the four locations are closing immediately. The pharmacy's prescription business has been transferred to local Walgreens pharmacies.
Officials from Price Cutter said they haven't yet decided if or when it will reopen the Dillons stores after they close. Price Cutter President Erick Taylor was quoted in local reports as saying that Springfield "is a very competitive market" which has recently experienced rapid growth and change, courtesy of new competitors in the market, including several Walmart Neighborhood stores and a new Hy-Vee.
"We are currently assessing new store concepts, conducting market research and evaluating community needs," Taylor continued. "At this time no decisions have been made. Our priority is to create what is most beneficial to our community, our customers and our employees.”
RPCS, Inc. operates 47 retail grocery stores under the following banners:
- 29 stores in Missouri under Price Cutter, Ramey, and Smitty's banners
- Five Food Pyramid stores in Bartlesville, Cushing, Ponca City, and Stillwater, Ok.
- One Save-A-Lot in Springfield, Mo.
- One Ponca City Discount Foods in Ponca City, Ok.
- Four Country Mart stores in Branson, Mo.
- One Bistro Market in downtown Springfield
- Three Summer Fresh stores in Fair Grove, Greenfield and Conway, Mo.
- Three Cash Saver Cost Plus Outlets in Ozark and Lamar, Mo., and Baxter Springs, Kan.
The company offers online grocery shopping in Springfield and surrounding areas and in-store pharmacies in 26 stores. It also has Starbucks with free Wi-Fi at 14 Price Cutter locations, three Food Pyramid locations and its Country Mart and Bistro Market locations.