Less than two years after opening its new location, employees at Lucky's Market at Southgate Mall on Tuesday said the company plans to close the store.

Local employees said they were told Tuesday morning, though store managers wouldn't confirm or deny those reports when asked. Corporate officials at Lucky's have not yet returned calls or made the closure official.

Last month, Kroger divested its stake in Lucky's after reviewing the company's asset portfolio. The two companies announced a strategic partnership in 2016.

The Missoula store opened in May 2018 and employs roughly 150 people, though plans for the location began long before that. The development team invested roughly $5 million in renovating the former Sears building to house the market.

The project was billed as a big step for Southgate Mall as it worked to reinvent itself in the wake of a changing economy. Other attractions, including the AMC dine-in theater, opened shortly after.

The Washington Prime Group purchased the mall in 2018. Last week, the firm announced the closure of JCPenney at the mall, saying it planned to redevelop that portion of the property.

While details of that project haven't been revealed, Washington Prime last month announced plans to create new hotel and residential uses at several of its Oklahoma City properties, along with similar renovations at a mall in Dayton.

Calls to Washington Prime weren't immediately returned on Tuesday.

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