Kash n' Karry closing stores in Gainesville

Published: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 12:27 a.m.
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The Kash n' Karry on NW 16th Avenue and NW 43rd Street is one of two in Gainesville that will be closing.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
Two of Gainesville's three Kash n' Karry grocery stores are among 34 in Florida slated for closing by the end of February.
Kash n' Karry President Shelley Broader made the announcement Thursday after notifying employees affected by the decision.
In Gainesville, the grocery stores at 2330 NW 13th St. and 4120 NW 16th Blvd. will be closed, while the store at 2002 SW 34th St. will remain open. In Ocala, the store at 4901 E. Silver Springs will close, leaving two open there.
The closings are part of the company's recently announced strategy to "fuel future growth in our core market by focusing our resources in Tampa and the state's West Coast," Broader said in her announcement.
"The decision to close these stores was a difficult one," Broader said. "However, it enables us to build on the successes we've achieved in the past year and redirect our resources toward opening and remodeling 20 stores in our core market. We plan to increase capital expenditures by more than 50 percent in 2004 to address the opportunities in this rapidly growing market."
The 1,500 employees who will lose their jobs will be offered job placement assistance and given preference for openings within the company, said Caren Epstein, a media relations representative for the Tampa-based chain. She added that while she didn't have a specific employee count for the stores in Gainesville, generally each store has from 45 to 50 employees.
"The issue here is profitability," she said. "The store that is remaining open in Gainesville draws from a larger area."
Brent Christensen, president of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes the employees can be reabsorbed in the community.
"In a community when you lose jobs, it's a negative, but we certainly have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, and there are a number of folks always looking for good employees," Christensen said. "With continued rumors of a Publix expansion in our community, there may be an opportunity for employment sooner than they think."
While all 34 stores will be closed by the end of February - leaving 103 open in the state - some could shut down sooner if they sell out of products before that time, Epstein said.
Kash n' Karry Food Stores Inc. is a member of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). Delhaize America, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates more than 1,400 supermarkets in the United States under the Kash n' Karry, Food Lion and Hannaford brand names.
Doris Chandler can be reached at (352) 374-5094.

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