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Walmart Will Close Baxter Springs Store--60 to Lose Jobs - KOAM TV 7

Walmart Will Close Baxter Springs Store--60 to Lose Jobs

Updated:
    Bad economic news for Baxter Springs, Kansas as Walmart announces it will close the store there on April 28th.

At Weston's café  everyone is  talking about the closing. Many are regular customers.

Waitress Vanessa Eaton says she goes there,  "Three  times a day,  sometimes,  yeah. "

"It's very sad,” says resident David Gaines, “Very sad, that we're going to lose all them employees out there."

The store has about  sixty workers.  At least  two workers have  more than 35 years experience each.

Resident Rena Miller also fears it will hurt a local food ministry.

"They  (Walmart) help money wise, give cash donations, probably food and other sale items."

Residents say there's been talk of  the store closing for about ten years and they say some have been shopping at Joplin Walmart's for the variety. Still some say it will become an inconvenience.

Eaton says,  "Yeah, cause now I'm gonna have  to go to Joplin or  Miami just to get something." 

Ron Rhodes, a Quapaw resident says, "Every Sunday I come here and shop after church I'm usually here two, three times a week. I really like this Walmart. They've got a lot of great employees there I'm gonna miss em."

 For Rhodes  it's closer than the Miami store.  But those in neighboring Riverton shop elsewhere.

Riverton resident Carol Moore says,  "Where we live its practically just as easy to go to 7th street  in Joplin so we're probably  contributing to its closing."

A walmart spokesman says ,"The needs of our customers have changed as our customers are looking for fresh produce and a full grocery department, ....as well as general merchandise, as part of the overall shopping experience. We see this in current shopping patterns - our Baxter Springs customers are visiting local area stores to meet their grocery needs. "

Gene Barrett from Baxter Springs says,"The prices  are cheaper in Joplin. A  lot of times you had to tell them you wanted Joplin prices because they would jack up the prices. That's Walmart for you."

 And many believe it will cost the city as a whole.

Gaines says, "Yeah we're  gonna lose some revenue that's means our taxes are gonna go up again."

 And Riverton resident Bill Edwards adds," It's a blow to Baxter. Seems like this is a town that's slowly surely dying.  Hope something comes back but who knows."

    Walmart officials say Baxter employees are urged to apply for positions at surrounding stores and will be given first priority for interviews.

     Lee scott, a former Walmart CEO is a Baxter springs native.

    Some credit him for the store opening there and remaining open for so long.

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