BY MARY REINHOLZ AND LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Tues., Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m.: The Associated supermarket, on E. 14th St. between First Ave. and Avenue A, was initially scheduled to close on Tues., Dec. 10, allegedly due, in part, to a decline in sales because shoppers are gravitating to the new Target nearby.
But the closing has now been pushed back to Sat., Dec. 14, Glen Bruno, one of the store’s owners, told The Village Sun on Tuesday afternoon.
The closing date has frequently been extended.
Bruno wouldn’t go into details about the situation because of an agreement with his landlord, apparently Blackstone. He spoke from the East Village Associated supermarket, on E. Eighth St. and Avenue C.
The store’s other co-owner is Joe Falzon. An Associated owner for 26 years, Falzon has said in interviews that the E. 14th St. market lost half its business through a “confluence” of events , especially when Target opened up down the block last year and the M.T.A. erected a 12-foot fence nearby for its work on a new L train entrance on Avenue A.
In addition, Falzon said, New York State’s requirement for a $15-an-hour wage increased the store’s financial strain. A total of 173 employees reportedly will be laid off when the supermarket closes.
The same owners had to close the Met Food in Gramercy, at 17th St. and Third Ave., in 2015, and later the company’s Associated supermarket at W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave., the following year.
It’s another sad story about a longtime affordable grocery store that many Stuyvesant Town residents genuinely loved and are sad to see go.
Who really looks forward to shopping for veggies amid the merch at Target?
Reports had said the store would close last month but it has stayed open into December.
According to several store employees and an apparent manager, there have already been layoffs. The workers say it’s not just competition from Target and from a new Trader Joe’s planned at Avenue A — it’s also Internet delivery.
EV Grieve reported that the signage for the new Trader Joe’s store has coincidentally just arrived. The local blog also said Associated’s closing had been pushed back to Wed., Dec. 11. A cashier also confirmed to The Village Sun on Tuesday that Wednesday would be the last day, before co-owner Bruno later said the supermarket would close on Dec. 14.
Entire shelves in the place were bare over the weekend.
One senior shopper said, with the Associated closing, she planned to buy her groceries at Morton Williams on 23rd St. between First and Second Aves.
Among other local supermarket options, Trader Joe’s can be very affordable, with good bargains. Food Emporium, also on E. 14th St., is opposite Whole Foods. There are two Morton Williams, the aforementioned one and another at 22nd St. and Park Ave. South. There are two West Side Markets on Third Ave., both pricier than Associated. The West Side Market in Gramercy replaced a Met Food, which was very cheap.