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West Point Market, an almost 80-year old Akron, Ohio, independent food emporium, is selling its property to a developer and closing the market at the end of the year, according to local media reports. The sale will allow the owners to “move a right-size West Point Market forward,” company President Larry Uhl told the Akron Beacon Journal.
The plan is to create small niche markets that will offer the best-selling West Point brands, like Killer Brownies, Bar Cheese, Scoopers as well as other bakery items, wine and prepared foods. As of now, the idea is to open a commissary to supply smaller satellite locations with the first new West Point Market opening in Summit County, Ohio. While nothing is finalized, as many as 12 smaller locations could eventually open.
Uhl and CEO Rick Vernon met with employees Friday morning to discuss the closure and future plans. The company will offer its nearly 100 employees financial incentives to keep them on board through the end of the year.
The property, which was purchased by S.J. Collins Enterprises, will remain a specialty grocer, possibly Whole Foods, as Collins is known for anchoring shopping centers with Whole Foods stores. The new store is expected to open in 2017 with a footprint of 50,000 square feet.
Rumors have swirled in the past about West Point closing or being put up for sale, but Uhl and Vernon indicated in the Beacon that the store was profitable and never was “for sale.”