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Columbus Walmart Closing Day But Other Businesses Ready to Pick - KOAM TV 7

Columbus Walmart Closing Day But Other Businesses Ready to Pick Up Slack

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   It's the last day of business for Walmart stores in Anderson, and Noel in Missouri and in Columbus, Kansas.

     Even before the doors close for good other businesses in the Columbus community prepare to pick up the slack.

Just a few last day customers picked up seventy-five percent off deals at the Columbus Walmart today. Not happy to see it shutting down.

Customer Melanie Deckard says, "I’m very sad. I hate it. I hate it for our community."

But Deckard says she's also loyal to homegrown stores too.

And residents are already bringing shopping dollars back to the Apple Market. 

Amy Newcomb was at the grocery Wednesday night and says it was busier than usual. She says, “I think it (Walmart closing) will be very beneficial for them. They weren't as busy when Walmart came in. Now they are again. So I think it’s gonna be good for em.

And more business is coming through the doors of Evans Drug which is opening an hour earlier and staying open an hour later to make it easier for Walmart customers to get prescriptions here.

Pharmacist Brian Usher says, "A lot of people coming back into town, by the time they got here, we were already closed. We looked at that need and thought this would be the best way to serve the community."

Evans drug will also stay open three hours longer on Saturdays.

Evans already stocks more than just prescriptions but could expand its offerings too. And the chamber of commerce director says the local grocery hopes to help those thirty people losing jobs with Walmart.

Chamber director Jean Pritchett says, "I know our grocery store has already put an ad in the paper encouraging those employees that was losing their jobs out there to come in and check with them.  That they were going to have some positions available in their store."

While other businesses could benefit from Walmart's closing, the city will lose tax revenues. The chamber director says there was an eleven percent tax revenue increase in December alone.

Pritchett says, "We were bringing in a  lot of people from the surrounding area that were coming here to shop."

Deckard says losing that revenue source is disappointing.  "I think people were counting on the tax revenue.  Yeah, I mean we're all kind of poor here in southeast Kansas. Not just Cherokee county. All of us. It would have been a big help. Our schools need it desperately."

But Deckard and others say it’s a strong community and will survive.

   

Pritchett says Walmart has not indicated what it will do with the building which is appraised at seven hundred thousand dollars.

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