MAIN STREET CLOSED, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND ELMWOOD
South Side Group Plans ALDI Protest
Residents are preparing to protest the closing of the last grocery store in Peoria's poorest area.
ALDI is shutting the doors of its Western Ave. location next Thursday as it prepares to open its new store in East Peoria. The decision has sparked outrage in recent weeks, since many people who live on the south side have to walk to get their groceries. When the store closes, they will have to either take a bus or find a ride.
ALDI says the move to East Peoria was a financial decision. But that logic doesn't sit well with First District Councilwoman Denise Moore.
"If they weren't making money for 24 years, they would've gone a long time ago," she said.
Moore says she recognizes that there is a chance for the company to make more money at its new location.
"That's capitalism. I'm not against capitalism," she said, "But we have to balance how much money we want to make with the moral issue of 'what are we doing to a community?'"
An attempt by ALDI to reach out to south side residents may have missed the mark. The company gave out coupons good for for $5 off any purchase of $30 or more. The catch is that the coupon is for the new location.
"Most folks walk, so I don't think they'll be making the trek to East Peoria. But it was so nice to see this on all the doors of the community they're abandoning," Moore said.
Moore says she's working with other city officials to find another grocery store to come into the south side.
Meanwhile, a protest is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Saturday outside of the store.