Smart & Final Closing Denver SmartCos

LOS ANGELES — Smart & Final here said that although it plans to use its fledgling SmartCo Foods concept at a couple of expanded Smart & Final warehouse stores, it plans to close the five SmartCo stores its had recently opened in Denver.

LOS ANGELES — Smart & Final [2] here said that although it plans to use its fledgling SmartCo Foods concept at a couple of expanded Smart & Final warehouse stores, it plans to close the five SmartCo stores its had recently opened in Denver.

Those stores, which opened during the summer, will launch closing sales Wednesday that are expected to last four weeks. The stores did not meet sales expectations, the company said.

The SmartCo Foods format blends features of a supermarket, warehouse club and farmers' market, including expanded selections of products for business and household customers, broader perishables offerings, full-service delis and scratch bakeries at some locations, meat cutters on-site and bulk bins for some dry groceries. The banner and format will be used at an expanded Smart & Final store in Lake Forest, Calif., that opens later this week and at a converted store in Phoenix next year, the company said.

"Despite our best efforts, the level of sales achieved [in Denver] in the SmartCo Foods stores after several months did not meet our goals and is not sufficient to sustain continued operations," said Dave Hirz, president of Smart & Final Stores.

The Denver SmartCos were located in units previously owned by Albertsons LLC, though all had been closed for some period of time. They ranged in size from 40,000 to 61,000 square feet and were the largest units operated by Smart & Final.