WIREGRASS, Ala. (WDHN) — Within the last month, three chain retailers Bed Bath Beyond, Tuesday Morning, and Dirt Cheap announced they will be closing stores in the Wiregrass.

Dirt Cheap in Ozark is closing Saturday one week earlier than expected.

“I took over six months ago and in that time the people in this community have really showed out and boosted our sales 300 percent since last year it’s hard that we are closing early we all love this store,” Dirt Cheap Store Manager Sierra Sanders said.

Ozark is one of the four locations in Alabama closing. Sanders said corporate hasn’t informed employees why they are closing.

“Our best guess was the lease was up the five-year lease is up so it could have been that, the company doesn’t want to pay their rent it could be a lot of things,” Sanders said.

However, employees, as well as regular customers who took advantage of the large scale, say the store closing is crucial to Ozark.

“It’s really going to hurt the community because we have few places to shop and its great to get birthday presents and Christmas presents.

“Ozark isn’t huge it needs all the different businesses they can get to bring in jobs,” Sanders said.

Other stores following suit — Dothan Bed Bath and Beyond closing April first due to a significant drop in sales and to avoid bankruptcy.

Tuesday Morning is closing at the end of March after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Eagle Eye Owner Mark Anderson, a part of the Alabama Retail Association said the ‘Retail Apocalypse’ has been going on for at least a decade but it worsened during the pandemic.

“The force shutdown of COVID, canceling of orders because they didn’t want to receive any new goods if they don’t know if they will be open or not , then increased spending followed by inflation over the last months it’s just been a rollercoaster and it’s catching up now,” Anderson said.

Anderson expects there to be more closings nationally but he says the closings do not indicate a struggling retail industry in Dothan or surrounding areas.