Shoppers store in Franconia closes next month

The Franconia Shoppers seen here is closing in February. The landlord has filed permits to divide the 65,000-square-foot space into three retail spaces. (Courtesy Google Street View)

Shoppers Food, whose parent company United Natural Foods Inc. plans to completely exit the retail grocery business, continues to close locations in the D.C. region.

The Franconia Shoppers, at 7005 Manchester Blvd., will close Feb. 16, and will not reopen as another grocery store. The landlord has filed permits to divide the 65,000-square-foot space into three retail spaces, according to Washington Business Journal.

Shoppers locations in Manassas and Alexandria are closing this month.

Last month, German discount grocer Lidl said it would take over six Shoppers Food locations that are closing, including locations in Annapolis, Brooklyn Park, Oxon Hill, Takoma Park, Wheaton and Burke.

A Shoppers location in Waldorf is being taken over by McKay’s. Stores in Capitol Heights and Landover will become Compare Foods stores.

A few other Shoppers locations have been taken over by Giant Food recently.

Remaining Shoppers stores will continue to operate under the Shoppers brand for now, though Shoppers owner United Natural Foods Inc. plans to eventually divest those stores too.

UNFI bought Landover-based Shoppers in 2018.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, the union that represents Shoppers workers will hold a resource fair for affected workers this weekend, but continues to criticize UNFI for the closings.

“For months, we have demanded that this company show our union and our members some basic respect,” union president Mark Federici said in a statement. “Employees who have dedicated their careers to Shoppers should not be left to wonder where their next paycheck will come from.”

A total of 50 employees at the Franconia store are affected by the closure, with an average 16.5 years with the company, according to the union.

The union is seeking significant severance pay and continued health care coverage, among other demands, for affected Shoppers employees.

The resource fair for affected Shoppers employees is Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at UFCW Local 400 headquarters at 8400 Corporate Drive in Landover, Maryland.

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