Shaw's market in Westerly closing

Westerly - A Shaw's supermarket at 100 Franklin St. will close by Aug. 3 because of subpar performance, the company announced this week.

The move was one of six announced closings companywide for underperforming stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"The stores identified have not been profitable for quite some time and, despite the best efforts of the company and our associates, we have not been able to reposition them," Steven E. Sylven, a Shaw's spokesman, said in an email reported by SouthCoastToday.com.

Sylven did not respond immediately to an email sent in the midafternoon Tuesday from The Day with specific questions about how many workers would be affected in Westerly.

SouthCoastToday.com noted that the store closings occurred only months after an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management LP bought Supervalu Inc.'s Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market grocery stores in a $3.3 billion transaction.

The closing of stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts follows several years of consolidation for the Bridgewater, Mass.-based company.

Three years ago, Shaw's bailed out of Connecticut, selling all 18 of its supermarkets to Stop & Shop and Wakefern Food Corp., operator of ShopeRite and PriceRite stores. In 2001, the company closed a store on Boston Post Road in Waterford, its only site in southeastern Connecticut, after less than five years in business.

"While the decision to close a store is always difficult - given the impact on associates and customers - it was made only after careful evaluation and was guided by what is best for the company's ongoing success and future growth," the company said in an email reported by SouthCoastToday.com.

The company announced last month that it would be ending its rewards-card program and replacing it with lower prices.

The other Rhode Island store to be closed in addition to Westerly is in Woonsocket. Massachusetts closings will affect Fairhaven, Fall River, Stoughton and Taunton.

l.howard@theday.com

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