Gro­cery Out­let to close

Area leg­is­la­tors ask own­ers to keep lo­ca­tion open

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

LIM­ER­ICK >> Em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers of the Gro­cery Out­let Bar­gain Mar­ket store in the Park Town Plaza Shop­ping Cen­ter, 301 N. Lewis Road in Lim­er­ick found out in late Au­gust that the store will be clos­ing at the end of Oc­to­ber.

As the date moves closer to the stated Oct. 30 clos­ing — sev­eral area leg­is­la­tors have stepped in to en­cour­age the store’s own­ers to re­con­sider the de­ci­sion.

So far, those ef­forts have not yielded a re­sponse from the com­pany.

State Rep. Tom Quigley, (R-146th Dist.), who has a dis­trict of­fice in the same shop­ping cen­ter, has joined with Roy­ers­ford Bor­ough Mayor Jenna An­toniewicz; and Lim­er­ick Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors Chair­woman, Elaine De­Wan in op­po­si­tion to the de­ci­sion to close the store when the lease ex­pires at the end of the month.

While tech­ni­cally in Lim­er­ick, the store sits very close to the Roy­ers­ford line, at­tract­ing cus­tomers from both com­mu­ni­ties, and be­yond.

Quigley said the trio talked about the is­sue and de­cided to write a let­ter to the com­pany ex­press­ing their con­cerns. That let­ter was sent to Eric Lind­berg and MacGre­gor Read, who are Gro­cery Out­let’s cochief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers.

“We wanted to let them know the store is very much part of the com­mu­nity, and has been an as­set,” Quigley said. “It will be a loss to the com­mu­nity.”

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter — which Quigley said should have been re­ceived by the com­pany Oct. 24 — the store lo­ca­tion is ideal for shop­pers that walk from Roy­ers­ford and Lim­er­ick.

“It is also heav­ily pa­tron­ized by those on fixed in­comes and se­nior cit­i­zens look­ing for the bar­gain prices that Gro­cery Out­let of­fers,” the let­ter stated. “Know­ing your or­ga­ni­za­tion stands for high-qual­ity, whole­some foods for fam­i­lies on a bud­get, we want to make you aware that the Roy­ers­ford Gro­cery Out­let lo­ca­tion specif­i­cally meets the needs of our com­mu­nity in a way that your mission and busi­ness model in­tends.”

As of Mon­day af­ter­noon, Quigley said he has not yet had a re­sponse from the com­pany.

“We think they are a great com­pany — they stand for some­thing we value in the com­mu­nity,” An­toniewicz said, adding that she is at the store sev­eral times a week, shop­ping with her tod­dler. “They stand for qual­ity food and pro­duce and or­ganic prod­ucts at a rea­son­able price. With­out them, I am con­cerned for how it will af­fect the com­mu­nity.”

Quigley said he found out about the com­pany’s plans when a store em­ployee came into his of­fice with a let­ter she had re­ceived from the com­pany out­lin­ing the clo­sure.

“She asked if there was any­thing we could do,” he said in an in­ter­view with Dig­i­tal First Me­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, the busi­ness model for Gro­cery Out­let calls for the stores to be in­de­pen­dently owned and op­er­ated. The Lim­er­ick store cur­rently is not in­de­pen­dently owned.

The let­ter also stated that the de­ci­sion to close was made af­ter “fi­nan­cial re­view,” which de­ter­mined the store does not meet the “busi­ness model cri­te­ria to be­come an in­de­pen­dently owned store.”

An­toniewicz said she tried reach­ing out to the com­pany sev­eral times through tele­phone calls since she heard the news in late Au­gust, but re­ceived no re­sponse.

“I am sure they have their rea­sons (for clos­ing), and we want to help if we can,” she said.

The trio also ex­pressed con­cern about the abrupt notification of the plan to the land­lord of the prop­erty, Park Town Part­ner­ship LLC. Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter sent to the com­pany from Quigley, An­toniewicz and De­Wan, said it was their un­der­stand­ing a seven-month no­tice was re­quired “per the lease agree­ment, if the lease was not go­ing to be re­newed.”

In fact, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, the land­lord found out about the clos­ing “by re­ceiv­ing a let­ter which was pro­vided to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Quigley’s of­fice.” Quigley’s dis­trict of­fice is also leased from Park Town Part­ner­ship.

“The three of us are hop­ing some­thing can be done. It will be a hard­ship for a lot of peo­ple in our con­stituen­cies,” Quigley added.

Dig­i­tal First Me­dia reached out to Gro­cery Out­let Bar­gain Mar­ket sev­eral times via emails and tele­phone calls to re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tives, as well as to the cor­po­rate of­fice in Emeryville, Calif., with no re­sponse.

Gro­cery Out­let Bar­gain Mar­ket sells brand-name gro­ceries and pro­duce for 40 to 70 per­cent off con­ven­tional re­tail prices. The com­pany op­er­ates more than 300 stores in Cal­i­for­nia, Idaho, Ne­vada, Ore­gon, Penn­syl­va­nia and Wash­ing­ton.

The Lim­er­ick store had pre­vi­ously op­er­ated as Amelia’s Gro­cery Out­let. The Penn­syl­va­nia chain of value gro­cery stores was ac­quired by Gro­cery Out­let Bar­gain mar­ket in 2012.


The Gro­cery Out­let store in Lim­er­ick will be clos­ing at the end of the month. Sev­eral area elected of­fi­cials have reached out to the store’s own­ers to ask them to re­con­sider the de­ci­sion.


The Gro­cery Out­let store in Lim­er­ick will be clos­ing at the end of the month. Sev­eral area elected of­fi­cials have reached out to the store’s own­ers to ask them to re­con­sider the de­ci­sion.

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