Grocery Stores, Including Aldi, Are Closing Locations, Starting March 21
Regional chain Green Zebra Grocery is shuttering all stores on March 31.
Grocery trips can be a mixed bag. You might snag ingredients to try a new recipe every night, load up on frozen meals, or just stick to the same list every week—but no matter what's on your list, there's probably a grocery store you prefer to shop at. So when that option is taken away, it can seriously disrupt your weekly routine. Now, some shoppers will be forced to make adjustments, as Aldi and other grocery stores announced that they're closing certain locations in the coming weeks. Read on to find out more about these upcoming closures.
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An Aldi store will be the first to close.
An Aldi in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, is closing on March 21, a company spokesperson told TribLIVE. The store is located outside of Pittsburgh, and was first opened 15 years ago.
Shoppers won't be totally out of luck, however, as a new store is set to open in New Kensington at Riverview Plaza, which is just over a half-mile away. Aldi is holding a grand opening ceremony on March 23, TribLIVE reported.
JR Perry, divisional vice president for Aldi, told Best Life that the company considers "several factors" when it comes to selecting new store locations.
"Aldi looks for convenient locations for our customers that can support a high traffic volume daily," Perry said. "We are also committed to ensuring that the design and experience of each store matches the quality of our products while providing customers with the best shopping experience possible. We're excited to welcome the Lower Burrell community to our new store in New Kensington later this month!"
In addition, Perry said that the New Kensington store was built with "environmentally friendly building materials" and will have different amenities, including an expanded refrigeration section to accommodate additional "fresh, organic, and convenient products" and more produce, dairy, and meat selections. Two other stores are planned to open in the Pittsburgh area later this year, Perry said, in Mars and Greensburg.
Other Aldi stores recently shut down.
Last month, an Aldi in the Jordan neighborhood of north Minneapolis was closed for good, Best Life previously reported. Aldi told NBC-affiliate KARE the store was closing on Feb. 12 "due to the inability to renovate the store to accommodate our larger product range and our current lease term expiring."
A few weeks later, on Feb. 28, the Aldi at 7440 McCart Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas, also shut down, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
"We will continue to proudly serve the residents of Fort Worth at our other area stores," an Aldi spokesperson told the outlet, adding that a nearby store on Hulen Street is being remodeled "to offer an enhanced selection of our customers' favorite items, from Aldi staples to regional delicacies."
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A local store in Chicago is also closing its doors.
Aldi is a larger chain—and it will certainly survive a handful of closures. But smaller, independently-owned shops can't say the same.
Local Foods Public Market in Chicago is shutting its doors on March 26, the store announced on Instagram. The specialty grocery store also houses the butcher shop Butcher & Larder, which is set to close as well.
"Despite valiant efforts by our staff to make the business sustainable, we can no longer justify continued operations," the Instagram post reads. "Our staff has been incredibly flexible and supportive over the past year as we have attempted multiple approaches to make business viable. Unfortunately, our best efforts have not been successful in the face of an isolated location and macroeconomic headwinds."
The company kicked off a closing sale on March 10, offering a 50 percent discount on specialty grocery items. But while the retail store is closing, Local Foods confirmed that its wholesale distribution business will stay in operation.
"We look forward to continuing to provide source-identified foods to restaurants, schools, businesses, and other food operations committed to supporting sustainable food systems," the social media post states.
All Green Zebra stores are closing this month.
A regional operation is on the chopping block, too: Portland, Oregon-based chain Green Zebra Grocery is closing all locations, the company announced in a March 7 press release.
The chain's three health convenience stores will see their final day on March 31, after being in business for 10 years. The stores offer nutritious grocery items like kombucha slushies and locally-sourced meat—as opposed to the sugary drinks and jerky sold at most convenience stores—and are larger than most competitors at about 5,000 square feet, Grocery Dive reported.
However, executives said the company has been struggling since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have been holding on by a thread since the pandemic started and have been in austerity mode since then," Lisa Sedlar, Green Zebra founder and CEO, said in the release. "We experienced 9 straight quarters of increases to our cost of goods, packaging, fuel, insurance, taxes, freight charges and well, pretty much everything. Combine that with supply chain and staffing shortages and razor thin grocery margins, we just couldn't overcome all the obstacles. We definitely gave it our all and fought the good fight. We are thankful for the opportunity to have been in service to our community."
Portland is being hit hard this month, as Walmart also announced plans to close all stores in the city on March 24. Walmart said that the two closing supercenters—on N Hayden Meadows Drive and SE 82nd Avenue—are underperforming. However, speculation arose about whether the closures were crime-related, after local business owners said that vandalism and shoplifting run rampant in the community.