Store closures are a major concern

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 16, 2018

Hot on the heels of the temporary closure of two grocery stores while they transition to new ownership, we now hear that a long-standing pharmacy in Picayune will close next month. This time the new owner has no plans to occupy the building. 

While the news of the grocery stores was concerning, at least most of the employees at those locations were promised jobs when the new company opens them under its name.

Walgreens has issued a statement that “a majority” of the employees currently working at Rite Aid would be offered positions at other locations, but this statement does not specify where these positions might be located. Additionally, this will mean that, at least for the short term, there will be another empty building in town.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It’s hard enough for our tight knit community to take the news that there will be fewer jobs in town, but the fact that a usable facility will be unused is worse.

However, facilities have closed before and jobs have been lost in the past. So, this is not the end of the world.

Soon, some other company will make use of the building, employing hopefully at least as many people, if not more.

But, in the meantime we should also consider the fact that some of these changes come in response to our continued push to buy more things online.

Many brick and mortar stores are seeing less foot traffic.

Some of that shift is due to retailers pushing us to utilize their online stores to save on overhead, without thinking of the impact such a transition will have on local economies. 

If everyone buys every product in his or her household from a computer screen, we will lose the ability to walk into a store and touch a product before determining its true quality.

Just think back to the last product you purchased from the Internet that was made of substandard parts that left you feeling underwhelmed. Had you been able to see it before holding it, you would never have brought it to the register.