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Small group protests closing of Trader Joe’s store

Updated May 1, 2017 - 8:09 pm

Three women protested Monday in front of the Trader Joe’s at Decatur Boulevard and O’Bannon Drive and called out to passersby who were clutching the familiar brown paper bags covered in red writing.

The women had not gathered to protest any treatment of animals or to question how Trader Joe’s sources its products. Instead, they wanted customers to show love for the supermarket chain and beg it to stay in the shopping center.

“We love you, corporation,” UNLV librarian Susan Wainscott joked. “Please stay.”

The women’s goal: 300 emails sent to Trader Joe’s begging the Monrovia, California-based company to keep the store or open another location in the area.

Mara Meservy, who retired after 13 years of substitute teaching, organized the event. She hasn’t shopped at Trader Joe’s for long but fell for the supermarket after a doctor told her husband their food could help his heart health.

High-fiber products at Trader Joe’s also have helped her grandson with digestion issues, Meservy said.

She doesn’t protest and picket often, Meservy said as her sister-in-law held a sign and tried to direct motorists to sign petitions and take an instruction sheet on how to email Trader Joe’s.

But Meservy likes the friendly staff at the Decatur location, she said. She often runs into seniors who walked to the supermarket as well as tourists who left the Strip to shop at this Trader Joe’s.

“I care about my neighborhood,” she said.

When asked about the protest, Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Erin Baker said the decision to close the 21-year-old store was difficult.

She recommended customers instead go to stores on Washington Avenue, Summa Drive and the Decatur store when it reopens in Centennial Hills in northwest Las Vegas.

“Unfortunately, the center that houses this store is no longer a place where we feel we should operate,” Baker said. “We are always actively looking for great store locations and are continuing this pursuit in central Las Vegas.”

Meanwhile, landlord Real Estate Asset Management has still not received word from Trader Joe’s that the supermarket will vacate the shopping center, said Marilee Tully, a RAM manager.

Trader Joe’s is supposed to deliver a 30-day notice that it will leave and has not returned calls, Tully said.

“It’s interesting,” she said. “I don’t know what to say.”

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at wmillward@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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