A Harps for the Food Island of England

A Harps for the Food Island of England
The Kroger store in England closed for good on Saturday, but Lonoke County sources say a Harps store is coming to the rescue soon at the same site. (April Scott)

Harps Food Stores Inc. of Springdale is coming to England, according to our Lonoke County bureau.

The news is all over the town of fewer than 3,000 people that Harps will be taking over the space at 301 Pine Bluff Hwy. vacated by Kroger Co., which announced in June that it was closing its England location and four others in Arkansas.

Saturday was Kroger’s last day of business at that location.

A Harps spokesperson told us, “There’s not anything for us to say about England at this time.”

Kroger said it was closing five Arkansas stores because of their “poor performance and struggling sales.”

Residents of three towns that Kroger abandoned this summer — Searcy, Morrilton and DeWitt — have access to other fresh food buying options. But for England, the nearest store offering fresh produce and protein was approximately 25 miles away.

In Brinkley, Kroger had occupied a building owned by GES Inc. of Marianna, the parent company of Edwards Food Giant and Edwards Cash Saver grocery stores. That store closed May 29 and, with no other grocers in town, GES reopened it as an Edwards Food Giant on June 19.