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Martin’s Food Markets has revealed plans to shutter three of its 22 stores in the greater Richmond, Va., area next summer, a move that will affect 357 associates. The leases for the stores are due to expire at that time, “and a business decision was made not to extend the leases for these stores,” the company explained.
The Ahold USA banner said that all part-time employees would be offered jobs at area Martin’s locations, while full-time employees “will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at nearby stores.” News of the closings comes ahead of the proposed merger of Ahold USA parent Ahold and Brussels-based Delhaize Group, made public this past summer, which is expected to occur next year.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch cited “industry observers” who have noted that in the wake of the merger, the combined company might have to consolidate operations in the Richmond area, where Martin’s is the top grocer but where Delhaize’s Food Lion operates some 45 stores. Martin’s has denied that the impending closings are in any way related to the pending merger, attributing them “purely [to] the expiring leases.”