Residents concerned with recent store closures

Store closures in Camilla

CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - Some Camilla residents said recent store closures in the central part of town have made it difficult for them to eat and buy medicine for months.

With stores like Harvey’s and Rite-Aid, which closed within the last several months, residents are hoping the city does something about this immediately.

“It used to be a grocery store right there, but when I came down here, there wasn’t any,” said Sharon Edwards, a Camilla resident.

Edwards moved to the Camilla Housing Authority five months ago and was shocked to find a Harvey’s Grocery Store and a pharmacy store, closed in her neighborhood.

“Rite was so convenient but when they closed it down, I was like, ‘What am I going to do now?’ I got to go find another drug store for my grandson and his medicine,” said Edwards.

Harvey’s closed in the central part of Camilla six months ago and Rite-Aid closed in early September.

With both closed, it forces Edwards and others to walk to stores on Highway 19, which is miles away.

“Sometimes I cannot walk because I have problems with my knees. I have a problem with my ankles. And it’s terrible trying to get somewhere,” explained Edwards.

Staff at the Mitchell County Development Authority heard these concerns and worked for months to find a solution.

“We are getting an experienced grocer into that space now,” said Paige Gilchrist, the executive director of the Mitchell County Development Authority.

Gilchrist said Hendricks and Hays Grocery will now move into the old Harvey’s store.

“Stores and that kind of stuff is out on 19, so I think it’s a nice option to have something right in downtown so people can walk up to the grocery store if they want to,” said Gilchrist.

For those in need of medicine, Gilchrist said the store is working on developing a pharmacy within the new store for all concerned residents.

Officials with the Mitchell County Development Authority said that Hendrick and Hays Grocery will open sometime in October.

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