Major Grocery Chains, Including Aldi, Are Closing Stores, Starting Feb. 12
CLOSURES CONTINUE INTO MARCH.
There are few things more frustrating than an interruption to your routine. We all have our favorite places for dinner, our go-to spot for coffee, and of course, our preferred grocery store. But a few chains, including the budget-friendly Aldi, just announced that they'll be shuttering stores, meaning your local hub could soon be gone for good. Read on to find out more about these upcoming closures.
READ THIS NEXT: Clothing Retailers, Including Marshalls, Are Closing Stores.
Aldi is axing a Minnesota location.
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This Sunday, Feb. 12, Aldi is closing a store in the Jordan neighborhood of north Minneapolis, NBC-affiliate KARE reported.
The store, located on N Penn Avenue is closing "due to the inability to renovate the store to accommodate our larger product range and our current lease term expiring," Aldi told the station. "We thank our customers for their years of loyalty at this location and look forward to seeing them in nearby stores soon."
KARE also included a photo posted outside the store, which confirmed that the location will close for good at 5 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. It also pointed shoppers to other Aldi stores in the Minneapolis area.
Customers are sad to see the discount food store go, especially in light of skyrocketing grocery prices. "Can't afford too much out of Cub," shopper Jarrod Jackson said, referring to the only other nearby grocery chain, Cub Foods.
LaTrisha Vetaw, Ward 4 Minneapolis council member, called Aldi's departure "a great loss," adding that she wishes city officials were given more advance notice. "I would've loved to intervene as a council member and have the entire council step in and figure out what we could do," Vetaw told KARE.
Best Life reached out to Aldi for comment, but has yet to hear back.
Stop & Shop is closing a store in New Jersey.
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Stop & Shop, a grocery chain with stores in the Northeast, also announced a store closure. Come March 23, the Stop & Shop in Highland Park, New Jersey, will be gone for good, a company spokesperson told Best Life.
"Stop & Shop conducts reviews of its business performance on a regular basis, and this store was identified as underperforming relative to financial expectation," the spokesperson said, confirming that no other New Jersey Stop & Shop stores are slated to close.
However, the local community in Highland Park is concerned about the store's exit, prompting the town's borough council to draft a formal FAQ, which was then shared on Facebook. Officials noted that after Stop & Shop closes, there will be a time period when Highland Park doesn't have "a local grocery store."
"How long that time will be is unknown and depends on a number of factors," the FAQ document reads. "The Borough has expressed in unequivocal terms that our preference is that the space be used for a supermarket above any other potential use."
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Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores are closing, too.
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During an earnings call on Feb. 2, Brian Olsavsky, chief financial officer for Amazon.com, announced that certain Amazon Go convenience stores and Amazon Fresh grocery stores are also closing up shop.
"We're continuously refining our store formats to find the ones that will resonate with customers, will build our grocery brand, and will allow us to scale meaningfully over time," Olsavsky said. "As such, we periodically access our portfolio of stores and decided to exit certain stores with low growth potential."
In total, Amazon has over 40 Amazon Fresh stores in six states and Washington, D.C. According to the Amazon Go website, there are currently 28 convenience stores in Chicago, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco. Olsavsky didn't provide details on which Amazon Go and Fresh stores will be closing, nor when closures will commence.
An Amazon spokesperson told Best Life that the company doesn't have additional information to share at this time.
Amazon is pressing pause on new Fresh grocery stores.
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Also during the Feb. 2 call, CEO Andy Jassy said that the company isn't opening any new Amazon Fresh locations.
"We've decided over the last year or so that we're not going to expand the physical Fresh doors until we have that equation with differentiation and economic value that we like, but we're optimistic that we're going to find that in 2023," Jassy said. "When we do find that equation, we will expand it more expansively. But I think that we have a very significant opportunity in the grocery segment."
While Jassy said that grocery is "important and strategic" for the company, experts told Insider that Amazon just wasn't equipped to take on the über-competitive food retail market.
"Being big on its own is nowhere near enough to be good," retail consultant Richard Hyman said. "Amazon is not a retailer, it's a tech company, and their absolute core is tech."
For what it's worth, Amazon has tried to introduce high-tech elements to the in-person shopping experience—most notably the ability to pick up your selections and walk right out of the store. However, shoppers need more than that.
"Consumers are not going to shop somewhere just because it has walk-out technology or a fancy cart that scans items as you add them. They need something else to entice them," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told Insider.