CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A local councilman organized a rally on Saturday to protest the "sudden decision" to close two Giant Eagle stores in the city, a press release from the City of Cleveland City Council stated.
Cleveland Councilman Brian Cazy invited community members to "Rally at Giant Eagle" on Lorain Avenue Saturday afternoon to voice disapproval of the move from the Pittsburgh-based company.
"Don't leave us with an empty building, at least allow us to market the building to bring another store of some sort in to the neighborhood," said Kazy.
Gloria Johnson is disappointed, as the Lorain Avenue location is her favorite store. It is also convenient.
"I find it disturbing that they want to uproot something that's been going on so long that served this neighborhood," she said.
Here is Kasy's statement on the closings:
"Giant Eagle never approached the city of Cleveland about solutions to keep the stores open and media reports gave customers the news that they had less than two weeks to change where they get their medical prescriptions filled -- a hardship for people on routine weekly medications with long-term prescriptions from their doctors. Some 120 employees could lose their jobs. The abrupt closures leave residents without convenient places to shop for fresh foods and without in-store bank branches. City officials are concerned that because the family-owned Giant Eagle holds the leases on the buildings they will thwart a new supermarket from moving in, leaving giant empty buildings, that were once neighborhood anchors."
The supermarket chain said the Giant Eagle store at 11501 Buckeye Road and the nearby GetGo at 2780 E 116th Street will close on Saturday, February 4.
The Giant Eagle at 13820 Lorain Avenue in Cleveland will close on Saturday, March 4.
The pharmacies at those stores will close on Saturday, January 14 to make sure prescriptions of all customers are transitioned to another retailer. Additionally, all 120 team members at the affected stores are being offered positions in other area stores, the store said noted on Saturday.
In response to Saturday's rally, Dan Donovan, Director, Corporate Communications, of Giant Eagle, released the following statement:
"The decision to close these two Cleveland Giant Eagle stores and one area GetGo location was difficult but necessary. As we have communicated with City officials, Northeast Ohio, and Cleveland specifically, are important communities for Giant Eagle, and we remain committed to supporting customers throughout the region for years to come. Additionally, we are engaged with the landlords of the affected Cleveland Giant Eagle locations to collaboratively provide the best options for the properties."