GENTRY (KFSM) -- Harp's Foods will be moving in to fill the grocery store void in Gentry after Walmart closed its smaller format store in the town of about 3,500 people at the end of January.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market on Gentry Boulevard closed Jan. 28 after the company announced earlier that month it would be closing 154 stores in the U.S. and 115 globally.
Walmart closed 11 of its small-format stores in Arkansas leaving many towns without a grocer.
Harp's announced Monday (March 7) it would be remodeling an old grocery store building on Highway 59 next door to the Sonic Drive-In, according to a post on the Gentry Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. The store should be open by the end of 2016 and will not feature a pharmacy. Construction is expected to start within weeks.
The post concludes with: "We appreciate the confidence the Harp's company has in the City of Gentry and its wonderful citizens. Thank you Harp's!!!"
Mayor Kevin Johnston started work on attracting a grocery store chain soon after Walmart announced that the Gentry store would be closing, according to Janie Parks, president of the Gentry Chamber of Commerce.
Officials with Harp's Foods contacted Johnston moments before Monday night's council to confirm that the chain would in fact open a location in Gentry.