Price Chopper in North Adams to Close
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Price Chopper on State Road is expected to close by the end of the month, putting some 57 mostly part-time employees out of work.
Employees were reportedly informed Monday morning that the nearly 60-year-old supermarket would close on Feb. 27.
"Price Chopper has a long history in the North Adams community and we value the relationships that we've built with our customers, local community partners and teammates," said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services, in a statement posted on Price Chopper's website late Monday afternoon. "After thoroughly reviewing the store's current and future viability, we've concluded that closure is the appropriate action to take with this location."
The store was opened by Golub's grandfather, William Golub, in 1960, under the Central Markets name.
The store was not viable property to be renovated into the company's new Market 32 brand, said Golub, speaking by phone. "What was viable in 1959 doesn't necessarily work today."
"We are offering professional outplacement services," she said. The company is also offering some openings to its closest locations for those willing to make the drive to Pittsfield or Bennington, Vt. Severance pay is also being offered upon the length of service.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said he learned of the closure this morning and had spoken with Golub about opportunities for employees. He said it was a sad day for the workers and the many residents of the West End who have depended on the grocery for years.
"It is kind of the last neighborhood market in the city ... there's the quaintness of the market, like a family grocery," he said. "The folks I feel for are the folks at Greylock and Brayton Hill. For many of those folks, transportation is a huge barrier. ... there's going to be a void there."
The mayor thought the small size and loyal clientele could sustain the market and said he told Golub that.
"I think that section of town can sustain a market that size," Alcombright said, adding he often shops for his mother there. "They have very, very good price points."
The plaza is owned by Golub Corp., as North Adams Realties Corp., and also contains a Rent-A-Center and the Oriental Buffet. Golub said no decisions had been made about supermarket's space at this point.
Price Chopper also operated in the former North Adams Plaza on Curran Highway, taking the place of the original Shopwell Supermarket, in the mid-1970s until the 1990s. The plaza was demolished in 2008.
Golub Corp., based in Schenectady, N.Y., dates to 1932, and began expanding what was then the Central Markets chain in the 1950s. It was switched to Price Chopper Supermarkets in 1973, and was notable at the time for its logo: an axe splitting a Morgan dollar coin. The first of the new stores opened in Pittsfield and often featured 24-hour service.
By 2014, the regional chain operated 135 stores in six states with more than 22,000 employees. Golub Corp. announced a five-year $300 million rebranding and renovation of its properties into "Market 32," connoting the company's anniversary date, for at least half its stores.
"It's never easy to close a store, and we rarely do, but we have an obligation to make business decisions that suppport the company's continued health and growth," said Golub.
The Pittsfield location, a newer, larger building at Berkshire Crossings, was among the first to be modernized. The North Adams location is smaller than many of the new supermarkets. There are also Price Choppers in Lee, Lenox and Bennington, Vt.
Updated at 4:10 p.m. with company comments.
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