UR’s closest source of off-campus groceries will soon close its doors. Wegmans has announced that it will be closing its Mt. Hope location before Thanksgiving due to financial concerns and lack of space available for expansion.
“These decisions are never easy,” Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale said. “That is our oldest and our smallest store by a considerable amount.”
According to Natale, Wegmans has been evaluating the situation at the Mt. Hope store for a number of years. Expansion was looked at as an alternative to closing the store.
“The site is landlocked and there are a limited number of things you could do with a limited expansion,” Natale said. Wegmans attempted to purchase the surrounding land, but was unable to acquire the land from UR for a variety of reasons.
Wegmans did, however, acquire the building attached to the Mt. Hope location, according to Natale, and started to look at renovations. As the project progressed, the scope of the renovations increased to the point of being restrictive.
“The cost to expand rose about 40 percent [above] than what was expected,” Natale said. “The projections showed that the store would continue to operate at a signifigant loss.”
These statistics led to the decision to close the store, according to Natale.
Wegmans is trying to soften the impact the closing will have on the community and the employees.
“There is an obligation to the community and to the employees,” Natale said.
“We are going to provide a shuttle service from the parking lot to another store.”
The shuttle schedule has not been finalized, but will be released soon along with the final closing date.
Natale stressed that there will be no jobs lost.
“There are 110 employees and they are all being offered jobs at other locations.”
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