After being open not even a full year, the Hibbett Sports store located Legends Square shopping center in Grambling has closed.
The store officially closed down at the end of the Fall Semester of 2018 leaving students and community members to hope the city uses the newly vacant spot to place a business that will be beneficial to the community and give people the opportunities to buy quality, affordable merchandise.
Toby B. Bryan, a councilman City if Grambling, said the store closing is unfortunate.
“The closing of Hibbett is very unfortunate and hurtful to the Community as a whole,” Bryan said. “From a City stand point we never want to lose a business not only for tax purposes but most importantly for job losses. One job loss means a citizen has to find employment outside of town and/or possibly relocate to a new area. I would have like to have had the to opportunity to talk the business owner sooner to see what we of if there was anything we (The City of Grambling) could have done to help them stay in business. One business loss means we have to grind and hustle that much harder to get and keep businesses in Grambling.”
In 2016, the City of Grambling and other developmental partners announced the Legends Square Retail Development that was a part of the $10 million New Markets Tax Allocation.
The project was intended to help the community in Grambling so that people as well as students wouldn’t have to drive back and forth to Ruston, when they could get all of their basic needs and clothing right where they live.
Students on campus were not shocked to see the clothing store fail.
Alexa Montgomery, a mass communication major, was a sales associate at the location.
“The store was hardly ever occupied,” Montgomery said. “People would come in, look at the prices, and then be out just as fast as they came.”
Montgomery said the store appeared to be doomed early on.
“Once I worked there for a month, I knew that the store was probably going to shut down because sales were always low and there was hardly anything to do,” Montgomery said.
Although the Ruston location of Hibett Sports is only three miles up from Grambling, the location makes a huge difference for students and community members of Grambling who do not have adequate transportation.