Reality Sinks in for Employees and Customers of Closed Auto Dealership

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

A day after mega-auto dealership, Lawrence Marshall closes its doors, employees and customers return with many questions.

Employees of the 40 acre complex got wind of the closure Wednesday afternoon. But the reality of the situation really hit home Thursday as people returned to the business to find the gates locked and guarded.

"I'm working the gate, letting people know, that didn't possibly hear somewhere, we're closed," Lawrence Marshall Employee Geric Alexander said. "I'm letting them know we're not doing any business today."

Geric Alexander is putting in one of his last days at Lawrence Marshall. Although the timing of the dealership's closing came as a surprise, the 12 year employee, says the signs were all there.

"I tried to prepare my guys ahead of time with the economy what it is," Alexander said. "Small town-big city, so it was bound to happen, and in the car business nothing is promised."

Some of those, now former employees join Alexander outside the mega-dealership. Although now they're out of a job, they're getting support from each other.

"I hope everything is alright, you know we have family and we got to do something," J.J., a former employee said.

Driving down Highway 6 in Hempstead, it's become a sight that's hard to miss, the signs and all the cars. But Thursday there is something else quite noticeable, tow trucks full of cars, and people pulling in to take care of one last piece of business.

"I'm going to pick up my car today in the shop," Owen Turner said.

Owen Turner dropped off his car Monday for repairs. But when he heard the news the 40 acre complex would be closing he decided it would be best to stop by.

"I didn't want it to be closed down with my car inside and I couldn't get it," Turner said. "So that's why I came up."

It's Geric Alexander who points Turner in the right direction.

And although Geric Alexander says he's not quite sure what direction he's headed next, he's keeping optimistic about what the future holds.

"I have a few friends that dropped off applications during the day," Alexander said. "I mean I have no doubt when this is finished at this gate God will have me somewhere."

Several different companies stopped by the auto giant to let people know about jobs, and even pass out applications.

The Lawrence Marshall Dealership has had a presence in Hempstead since the late 1960's.


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