MISSOULA — Southgate Mall managers say their thoughts are with the local workers who will lose their jobs with the nationwide shutdown of Lucky's Markets.
The multi-state grocery store chain announced Tuesday it was closing dozens of stores in 10 states -- including the Lucky's in Missoula and Billings -- as part of a nationwide closure of most locations. The decision comes after Kroger's announced it was selling its stake in the natural food chain last month.
Southgate Mall General Manager Tim Winger expressed concern for the 150 employees who will be jobless with the local closure in a statement released Wednesday morning. At the same time, he's expressing confidence the mall will be able to find a new tenant.
"While continuing to support existing tenants, our leasing team is actively pursuing new uses, which could include specialty grocery, as well as other tenancy which provides differentiated goods and services," Winger said. "We continue to see strong demand for space at Southgate Mall and will share additional details in the future.”
The mall has continued to express confidence in current, and future growth, despite the closure of Lucky's, and last week's announcement JC Penny will be leaving the mall after more than 30 years. Managers point to "25 (and growing) local businesses" located in Southgate, and are saying more additions will be made in the coming weeks.