The Fresh Grocer will close its store in New Brunswick, N.J. on May 24, city officials said.
The store, which opened in a downtown “food desert” less than two years ago, was unable to do enough volume to be successful, owner Pat Burns told the Home News Tribune.
In February, city officials filed a notice of default to the retailer for missed rent and other expenses totaling $785,000.
“We believed The Fresh Grocer to be an experienced urban supermarket provider that would provide the residents of New Brunswick with access to a variety of fresh and healthy foods,” New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill said. “Unfortunately, their success in the Philadelphia area did not translate to New Brunswick. “After months of discussions, negotiations and efforts to come up with a suitable arrangement, we were not able to come to an agreement that would allow them to continue operating here.”
The city said it was in talks with other potential tenants to utilize the 50,000-square-foot space, which is owned and managed by the New Brunswick Parking Authority. A tenant has already been secured to use the café space on the second floor of the building.
Fewer than 100 store employees will be affected by the closure. Workers will be offered positions at other Fresh Grocer locations, according to the company.
Philadelphia-based Fresh Grocer joined the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative last year. It operates six other locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
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