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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets here said this week that it will close its 62,590-square-foot Brooks-Chili store, located on Chili Avenue in Gates, N.Y., early next month, due to flat sales, rising operating costs, and defecting shoppers. The store's 196 employees will be offered positions at other area Wegmans, according to the grocer, which says it has no current plans to sell or lease the property. The site "will instead be used for internal purposes, the details of which have yet to be finalized," Wegmans noted in a statement.
The store, which opened in August 1982, is close to two other Wegmans locations, the 115,000-square-foot Chili-Paul store and the 96,000-square-foot Lyell Avenue store. Other nearby retailers include Aldi, Save-A-Lot, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter directly across the street.
"Our larger, high-volume stores offer more choice and a more stimulating environment for both employees and customers," said c.e.o. Danny Wegman. "Customers prefer shopping in those stores and employees thrive, because there are more opportunities to learn and advance."
"We must be extremely disciplined around store growth, particularly in market areas where there is no population growth and food retail space is expanding," added company president Colleen Wegman. "To do otherwise would risk the long-term health of our company."
As far as recent and upcoming store openings go, the company opened a 100,000-square-foot Wegmans on Mt. Read Boulevard in Rochester in July 2007, and will debut a 100,000-square-foot store in Henrietta, N.Y. later this year. The retailer also plans a future remodel of its East Avenue store in Rochester.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 71 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.