A sudden closure of a Rye Brook, N.Y., D'Agostino store has raised new concerns about the financial health of the family-owned retailer.
The Journal News newspaper reported Monday that D'Agostino's Rye Brook store — its only location not in Manhattan — closed abruptly over weekend with the company failing to inform its landlord.
Reports earlier this year said some suppliers were holding back shipments and demanding payment up front — often a signal of a company in financial distress.
Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, New York, told SN Monday the Rye Brook closure was no surprise as that store was struggling to maintain volume. The company said four years ago that it intended to exit non-city stores but had not provided a timeline.
As for the rest of the chain, Flickinger said a recently announced partnership with AmazonFresh had sparked sales at some stores but "D'Agostino might need something more dramatic" to survive the typically slow summer sales season in New York.
"It's been a combination of additional competition and higher rents, higher wages and higher rates for health and wellness and pension rates for unionized employees," Flickinger told SN.
The company was not immediately available for comment. D'Agostino operates 13 stores in Manhattan.
Flickinger said a recently announced partnership with AmazonFresh had affected sales increases of 20% to 30% in the meat and produce departments at some Manhattan stores but noted competition from newer stores such as Fairway Market, Whole Foods and FreshDirect has provided "a high degree of difficulty in terms of a long-term success for D'Agostono."
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