Skip to main content

Independent Grocery Store Closings Reflect Fallout From Tough Conditions

Grocers in New Jersey, Iowa and California announce exit from markets
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Market Hall Food - FB photo
Market Hall Foods announced that it is closing its store in Berkeley, Calif., this month. (Image Credit: Market Hall Facebook)

It’s been a rough spring for some in the food retailing business. Last week’s abrupt closing of Dom’s Kitchen & Market stores in Chicago and Foxtrot locations in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Texas is still reverberating, and this week, more supermarkets shared that they are folding.

In New Jersey, the venerable Sickles Market is filing for bankruptcy after 116 years. In a message to shoppers on its website, the Sickles Family wrote, “This closure is not something we could have ever anticipated, we have loved being a part of the community….hopefully we can come back, until then we thank you for giving us the type of customer love and loyalty a family owned business work their whole lives for.” The family also noted that they will do their best to get in touch with those who reached out to them. 

Sickles Market is closing its stores in the towns of Little Silver and Red Bank, N.J., but will retain the Bottles by Sickles shop in Red Bank that offers craft beers and other adult beverages. 

Meanwhile, in Iowa, residents of Maxwell heard the news this week that the only grocery store in the community is ceasing operations in June. The family-owned Logsdon’s Grocery in Story County will go dark on June 29, after nearly 65 years in the industry. 

On the West Coast, Market Hall Foods is shuttering one of its stores in Berkeley, Calif., after Memorial Day weekend. That specialty grocery operator was affected by recent challenges including the pandemic, supply chain backstops and inflation.

“Our decision to close our 4th Street store after 28 years was made after much deliberation. It has been a very difficult process, but we recognize that this closure is the best way to ensure the strength of our overall businesses. Market Hall Foods in Oakland and the other businesses at Rockridge Market Hall remain open,” said co-owner Sara E. Wilson in a letter to customers.

Wilson explained that the owners worked to navigate through those successive challenges but they proved hard to overcome. “We tried different approaches at 4th Street to draw in more customers. We increased our grab-and-go offerings for those looking for a quick bite, honed our grocery, cheese and charcuterie selections to better meet the needs of the Berkeley community, and refined our lunch program to minimize waste. Despite these and more efforts, we did not see the results we needed,” she shared.

It’s not just small and family-owned retailers grappling with headwinds. This week, Walmart announced that it is closing 51 Walmart Health Centers around the country; the retail giant is also shutting down a Neighborhood Market in Milwaukee on May 17. Meanwhile, in March, Family Dollar, run by Dollar Tree, Inc., reported that it is discontinuing operations at more than 1,000 locations across the country.

Advertisement - article continues below
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds