Texas Walmart set to close; small business owner reacts

Texas Walmart set to close; small business owner reacts
The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Redwater will close its doors with seven other stores in the ArkLaTex. (KSLA News 12, Fred Gamble)
The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Redwater will close its doors with seven other stores in the ArkLaTex. (KSLA News 12, Fred Gamble)
Delaughter's Grocery Store closed its location in Redwater shortly after the Walmart opened. (KSLA News 12, Fred Gamble)
Delaughter's Grocery Store closed its location in Redwater shortly after the Walmart opened. (KSLA News 12, Fred Gamble)

REDWATER, TX (KSLA) - An ArkLaTex businessman claims Walmart forced him to close his grocery store after nearly 4 decades. Now, that Walmart is getting ready to close after being open for less than a year.

Kyle Delaughter owned Delaughter's Grocery Store in Redwater, Texas for 37 years and closed the store barely a year ago. The closure came just days before a Walmart Neighborhood Market opened its doors nearby.

"We had to close. We had no choice," Kyle says, "You can't have two grocery stores in a town that size."

The city of Redwater received bad news Friday that the Walmart would be leaving Redwater at the end of January.

Walmart officials notified Mayor Robert Lorance of Redwater that the Walmart Neighborhood Market would be leaving the city after only being open a year, leaving the Bowie County city without a grocery store.

"I wasn't too happy about it," says Mayor Lorance, "As you can see, it wasn't Redwater because of the profitability on it because it was nationwide."

Mayor Lorance says the local Walmart employees at this store apparently did not know of the closure until early this Friday morning.

 "I am going to try and not let Redwater go without a grocery store here. We are going to be working on what ever we can to make that happen."

Meanwhile, Kyle is spending his time 5 miles away from Redwater at his Maud, Texas store.

"I would love to be back in Redwater," he says, "But I don't think that's possible."

Kyle says it was bittersweet leaving Redwater when Walmart came in, but he still feels for the people of Redwater. 

 "It isn't a happy day for me it is a weird day, because we have seen this happen in the past all over the country."

The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Redwater is set to close its doors with seven other stores in the ArkLaTex by the end of January.

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