New York-based grocer King Kullen has recently announced its second store closure this year. The Lake Ronkonkoma store, King Kullen’s oldest location, opened in 1971, but despite its decades of history, the store has recently been “underperforming,” according to Newsday. The company has also reported plans to close its North Babylon store in late September this year.
“These stores were underperforming and the decision was made to close rather than renew leases that were coming due,” said King Kullen Spokesperson Lloyd Singer. The North Babylon location also faced the competition of incoming discount grocer Aldi a mere half mile away.
Deli Market News reported in January that the King Kullen chain is set to be acquired by Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop banner. Although the companies had originally planned to finalize the deal in the first quarter of 2019, Stop & Shop has reported that the recent closures have slowed the process.
“The dates were estimations. Stop & Shop continues to work through customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals relative to its acquisition of King Kullen Grocery Co., and the transaction has not yet closed,” noted Stefanie Shuman, Manager, External Communications and Community Relations for Stop & Shop.
The majority of King Kullen employees will be transferred to other locations, although many part-timers will opt to resign rather than commute. The commercial workers agency, Local 1500, represents about 2,700 King Kullen and Wild by Nature employees. 52 of these individuals work at the Lake Ronkonkoma location.
How will these multiple closures affect the acquisition’s progress? Deli Market News will report.