Officials from Supervalu, the parent company of Shop ‘n Save, confirmed Monday that the grocery store on Fairfax Pike in Stephens City will close in early March.
The store was previously a Food Lion, until Supervalu bought 22 Food Lion locations along the Interstate 81 corridor, reopening the store as a Shop ‘n Save in September 2016.
“Frankly, the lease was coming up on it so we just decided not to renew it, when looking at the overall operations,” said Mike Wilken, Supervalu spokesperson.
When asked if the three other Shop ‘n Save locations in Winchester will remain open after their leases expire, he said, “We don’t have any immediate plans to close additional locations.”
The three Winchester grocery stores are located at 2600 Valley Ave., 190 Delco Plaza and 159 Grocery Ave.
“I can tell you that we constantly evaluate the stores to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible and competitively as possible, but at this time we don’t have any immediate plans,” Wilken said.
Wilken also said the Stephens City Shop ‘n Save employs around 30 people. He added that the company is working to build a list of open positions at other locations where the Stephens City store employees can apply for jobs.
“There’s a list of openings, so it might be Winchester, it might be some of the other locations in Virginia, but yeah, we’re going to work really closely with a lot of the store directors in the area to let the employees in Stephens City know what’s available for them,” Wilken said.
He said these listings are job openings that Stephens City employees can apply for, not guaranteed positions.
Shop ‘n Save faces direct competition across the street from Martin’s, which is situated on the north side of Fairfax Pike. A Martin’s spokesman on Monday said the company had no comment on how Shop ‘n Save’s closure will impact the company’s business.
Between these two goliaths sits 7-year-old Gore’s Fresh Meats & Deli (the home plant on Double Church Road is more than 50 years old). Jeff Gore, who owns the business with his brother, said Shop ‘n Save’s closing is unlikely to impact his business.
“We deliver some of our product to the Shop ‘n Save, but they’ve been getting less and less each week for the last year,” Gore said. “I think it all started when they opened too early, before they were ready. It made a lot of customers mad, and that’s the story I’ve been hearing from all of our customers.”
Wilken said he had no comment on that claim. “I couldn’t tell you either way on that one,” he said.
Shop ‘n Save bought its Stephens City lease from Wincity Realty Associates-De LLC, a New York-based property company. Wincity has no publicly listed contact information and could not be reached Monday to answer questions regarding new tenants moving in when Shop ‘n Save moves out.
“All our stores play an important role in the community and we value the hard work of our Shop ‘n Save associates throughout the years,” Wilken said. “We are optimistic that we can offer many of the impacted team members positions at other nearby Shop ‘n Save locations, and we hope all our associates will continue their employment with us.”