Metro Detroit residents affected by Family Dollar's plan to close nearly 400 stores

Company hopes to reverse financial fortunes

DETROIT – Family Dollar announced it plans to close nearly 400 stores this year, and many Metro Detroit residents were unhappy with the news.

In a city such as Detroit, where grocery stores are few and far between, dollar stores fill in the gaps.

Anyone driving up Woodward Avenue in Detroit would see a Family Dollar store about every mile. The brand flouirshed as the city itself floundered in bankruptcy.

Customers such as Willie Pridgeon said they depend on the store.

"It's convenience," Pridgeon said. "You don't have to go far, and the prices are right."

Cassandra Norman said she swears by Family Dollar.

"Every other day, really," Norman said.

In 2014, Family Dollar hit hard times, and competitor Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar, figuring it could absorb the trouble chain's 8,000 stores. But the plan hasn't worked out.

On Wednesday, Family Dollar announced it will close almost 400 stores, but Local 4 bankruptcy expert Doug Bernstein said landlords looking to get paid on store leases aren't liking the restructuring.

"Bankruptcy is meant to bring order to a restructuring process, rather than fighting in 400 different lawsuits, maybe you bring order to the equation," Bernstein said.

In or out of bankruptcy, it's likely there will be fewer dollar stores around this year and next year. It's bad news for customers who now find themselves looking for a replacement.

"I would have to spend more, walk farther and find someplace for me and my family," one customer said.

"It might mean a lot because it's like right here, like, we can walk here, and I love Family Dollar," another customer said.

Local 4 reached out to Family Dollar, but there hasn't been a response.

At one Detroit Family Dollar there were many items of clearance, but it didn't 

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