After 25 years serving Harrison food shoppers, will close its doors for good on June 3.
Paul Burger, who manages the Harrison location, confirmed the plans Wednesday. Although he said he couldn't provide specifics about the grocery store's finances, he said it has become difficult for smaller grocery stores with union employees to compete with larger chains. As stores like A&P, Whole Foods, Shop Rite and Wal-Mart have moved into the region, he said places like Food City have struggled to keep up.
"A small business with union employees became too expensive to run against the big guys," Burger said.
The announcement was made to store employees late last week. Food City, located at 7 Halstead Avenue, had been locked in labor negotiations with local unions dating back to 2011. A call to Ray Vetrano, the representative of Local Union 338, which held protests outside of Food City throughout the year, were not immediately returned.
An A&P on the other end of Halstead Avenue has been competing with Food City for Harrison shoppers and offers an alternative for people downtown. But for people in the immediate area, the loss of Food City eliminates a nearby grocery destination that has been part of the community for decades.
"I was very disturbed and saddened," said Ada Angarano, former president of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce. "I for one love the store."
Burger said Food City's other grocery stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn are not scheduled to close at this time. Open since 1953, Food City is a third-generation family business.
On a positive note, there are negotiations taking place between the town board and a possible replacement at the Food City Location, but sources in town hall said this week it's too early to release any details. We will have updates as soon as they become available.