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Family Dollar to close after the holidays

Family Dollar in Wadena, is closing Jan. 19. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal1 / 2
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Family Dollar, a popular retail location in downtown Wadena is closing after the holiday season.

The store has been a part of Wadena for some time and it came as a surprise when staff posted the closing signs. There are currently no plans of relocating the store. The abrupt closing left employees scrambling to make plans for the future. The closure is made even more difficult by the holidays being just around the corner.

Employees were told that if a position is available, they are welcome to apply. Unfortunately those position are at stores several miles away making for a rather contentious situation.

"I wouldn't have been so mad if they had said something a month ago," said Lee Hallett, store manager of Family Dollar. She has worked for the chain store for almost 14 years. Hallett has given a large chunk of her life to the store and was upset to hear that she would be losing her job with little warning. Hallett found out the store was closing one week before close-out signage arrived at the store.

The store has been struggling for a period of time and simply wasn't maintaining profit margins according to Hallett. Large stores like Walmart have made it difficult for smaller stores like Family Dollar to stay in business.

"If they're going to close the store, they should have a reason and place for us to go," said Hallett, as she reflected on the situation.

Currently the store is running a clearance sale. The sale percentage will increase as the store approaches its closing date, Jan. 19.

The Family Dollar franchise was bought by Dollar Tree in 2014, at the same time the Dollar Tree store was being built in Wadena. At that time, the move had some thinking Family Dollar may be on its way out, however the two coexisted in Wadena for over four years.

According to a Wadena Pioneer Journal story from August 2014, the Wadena City Council attracted Dollar Tree into the location in May 2014 after they unanimously approved a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with Green Bay-based United Development Group, authorizing up to $140,000 in property tax breaks to build the store and lease it to the retailer.