Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the attack that took place at the Poplar/Highland Kroger last weekend. I won’t get into the details of what transpired during the mob; however, I want to examine the ramifications of the Kroger mob on Memphis. If you have not seen the video yet, I’ve included it below. Be advised, it is graphic.
I’m not going to delve into the race issue–many believe that this was a hate crime; so much so that people are asking Eric Holder, the attorney general of the United States of America, to investigate the matter. I certainly do not want to get into whether it is the police department’s fault (as they were called out an hour before the attack took place and did nothing), or whether the parents of these teenagers are to blame. I want to look at facts–the aftermath.
Most importantly, the three parties injured in the video are going to be okay–physically. I’m not a psychological professional; therefore, this is just my opinion, but I’m sure that there will be some psychological obstacles for these victims to overcome.
However, I’m fearful that the businesses, within this area, will be negatively impacted in a way from which they cannot recover. I’ve seen drastic changes within the Poplar Plaza Shopping Center over the last decade. As a child, I used to eat at Applebee’s, on Sundays, after church–Applebee’s has been long gone. I remember spending weekends playing at LaserQuest, shopping for clothes at Old Navy, and buying the newest books from Bookstar (Bookstar is also gone). Things have changed, and not for the better.
As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing to happen to Poplar Plaza Shopping Center over the years is the installation of the Baskin-Robins drive-thru. Needless to say, after the events of last weekend, I expect business will continue to decline in this shopping center. There are two businesses that have been immediately impacted–Kroger and CiCi’s Pizza.
Those that appreciated the 24-hour availability and convenience of this Kroger location will be upset to hear that it is no longer such. As of September 13th, this Kroger location will be closing its doors every night at 1:00 a.m.
Kroger is not the only business that is having to change its policies. Cici’s Pizza, a restaurant which just reopened its doors (doors of which are to a kid-friendly establishment), has now made it their policy that “minors must be accompanied by an adult guardian.”
There is a silver lining from this unfortunate blight on Memphis, the creation of Memphis Love Mob. This overnight, organization-sensation is taking Memphis streets by storm. And when I say that they are taking over Memphis streets, I mean that both literally and figuratively. In hopes of helping reverse the damage done by the Kroger mob, this organization’s sole purpose is to “[spread] the love for our beautiful city. On Tuesday, they did just this. At the intersection of Poplar and Highland, Memphis Love Mob hosted a peaceful gathering, “…a peaceful demonstration of love for our city, its businesses and our fellow citizens.”
I spoke to one of the creators of Love Mob, Kimberly Presley, and she assures me that this newly-found organization isn’t going anywhere. (I’ve got a full length article about Love Mob coming in the next few days.)