Benny’s in Waterford will close Feb. 28
Waterford — The Waterford branch of Benny’s — the place where customers say they can get things they can't find at other stores — is on its way out.
An assistant manager at the Waterford store, an area institution for decades, said the branch in the Waterfall Shopping Plaza on Boston Post Road would be closing Feb. 28, confirming the notice on signs posted at the store’s entrance.
“We’ve had a lot of people asking about it,” said Nathan Delorto, who has been working at the store since August.
Benny’s co-owner Arnold Bromberg declined Sunday to say why the Waterford location would be closing.
“Like all retailers, Benny’s is always evaluating and optimizing individual store performance,” he said, reading from a statement.
The Smithfield, R.I.-based company has had a store in the Boston Post Road shopping center since late 1970s he said. Before that, he said, there was a store in New London.
Benny's is the largest store in the Waterfall plaza, which also includes a Lawrence + Memorial Hospital wound care center, NV Bakery and Market, the Lucky Inn Chinese resaturant and a Planet Fitness gym.
Other stores in Groton, Norwich and Old Saybrook will remain open, along with the other two Connecticut locations and two dozen Massachusetts and Rhode Island locations, Bromberg said.
According to the company’s website, Benny’s began as a tire stand in downtown Providence, R.I. On the company’s 90th birthday in 2014, the Providence Journal reported that it was one of few family-owned retailers that has survived “in a market dominated by giant box store chains.”
The store is still managed by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of its original founders, Benjamin and Flora Bromberg.
Now it sells just about everything, customers shopping at the Waterford store said Sunday.
“This is the place I go to when I think ‘oh, I need this thing,’ said Sara Buscetto, a Waterford resident who was shopping in the automotive aisle for car maintenance products.
“They have a lot of good deals here,” she said, standing in a part of the store that held, in no particular order, shelves of potato chips, rakes and folding chairs.
A woman named Linda, who was shopping for Bondo-brand wood repair putty and lemon oil for her wood carving projects, declined to give her last name Sunday because she works at a major home improvement supplies store that sells the same products, but at a lower quality and a higher price.
“The price might be comparable, but you’ll find better quality here,” she said, holding up a bottle of lemon oil she’d picked up. “I knew I’d find it at a good price.”
The store is the second longtime business anchor along the Waterford stretch of Boston Post Road in the last year, following the closing and demolition of Family Bowl, the duckpin bowling alley that had been in business since the 1950's. The alley was bought by a Massachusetts developer and is under construction, soon to open as an Aldi grocery store.
Editor's Note: This article corrects the date of the store's closing.
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