The Kroger grocery store in Brownwood, which has been open since 1978 and employs 61 people, will close in early March, the company announced Wednesday.
    The company has tried to increase sales, profitability and store conditions, but “despite our best efforts, we were not successful,” April Martin Nickels, Kroger corporate affairs manager in Coppell, said via email.
    The store is at 302 N. Main.
    “Since 1978, the Kroger Brownwood store has served thousands of families in the community. We have made the very difficult decision to close the store in early March of 2018," Nickels said. "It is important to note, our team spends several weeks and months assessing all alternatives before closing a store.
     “We never want to close any store; however, we cannot continue to operate stores that do not perform to company expectations for profitability. This store will continue to operate until its closing. We have unique sales plans in place to sell down inventory and provide deeply discounted products to associates and customers.”
     The company will offer store employees severance which will be paid out based on union contracts and company policy, Nickels said.
    “Kroger appreciates the support the City of Brownwood has shared throughout the years.”
     Ray Tipton, executive director of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, said Kroger “has been a valued partner in our business community for several decades. We appreciate their community support through those years.”