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Baxter Springs Walmart officially closes its doors - KOAM TV 7

Baxter Springs Walmart officially closes its doors

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It's last minute shopping, but not in the traditional sense.  

Baxter Springs residents shop their Walmart for the last time.  

"It's obviously a sad day for the city of Baxter Springs," said mayor Randall Trease. "We're going to lose the jobs, we hate that. We're going to lose part of the tax base, obviously we hate to do that too."

The southeast Kansas store was open for more than three decades. It employed about 60 workers.

In a statement in February, the retailer said it decided to close this location because of the changing needs of its customers, who are looking for fresh produce and a full grocery department.  

Some residents say, the loss is hard.

"It's been really convenient for all of us, to be able to find what we wanted really quickly," said Connie Gaines.

(trease, mayor) "evenings at six, seven o'clock, if you need something, you're doing some project at home, you can run out there and get something. Well, that particular is gone. It will just take a little planning."

There is no doubt the closing of such a big store in a small city will cause change, but some residents say change is good.

"I really think there are other opportunities galore for other businesses to come back into town and shine," said Sue Gast, resident and owner of Angels on the Route.

Mayor Randall Trease says he appreciates what Walmart offered over the years.

"We're going to pull up our bootstraps and move forward," he said.

'Walmart was very good to this community, I'm not taking that away," said Sue Gast. "But we don't have to roll up the carpet and close the doors because walmart is leaving. We lost several jobs and the shopping patterns are going to change in the community, but Baxter Springs survived the tornado. Baxter Springs will survive Walmart closing also."

According to Walmart, "many" employees at the Baxter Springs store have transferred to positions at other Walmart locations.

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