Shoppers were surprised and disappointed after learning that the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has announced plans to close its Long Island City-Astoria location at the end of August.
“I have to drive so far to do my shopping,” said Woodside resident Nora Watanasuparp. “It’s not fair.”
A&P, which owns multiple supermarket chains, said in a statement last week that the Pathmark, at 42-02 Northern Blvd., would be shutting its doors and any potential reassignments for the employees would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
“While this is a very difficult circumstance for our associates, customers, partners and the local communities, we remain focused on providing great value and service to our customers,” spokeswoman March Connor said in a statement.
A&P did not cite a reason for the closure. The Long Island City Pathmark will be closing four months prior to the end of its lease.
The supermarket is among many commercial properties along Northern Boulevard, such as auto dealerships and superstores like Best Buy and The Home Depot. Many shoppers interviewed by TimesLedger Newspapers said they went to the store at least once a week.
“I like the store,” said Woodside resident Elizabeth Horak. “It’s very clean and it has good prices and the people who work here are all very pleasant.”
Horak said she sometimes shops at a Key Food where she lives, but she would have to find a new place to buy the gluten-free products she needs when the Pathmark store closes.
Some customers said they also bought groceries at supermarket Stop & Shop, at 34-51 48th St. in Long Island City a few blocks from the Pathmark. A few others said they shopped for groceries at the wholesale club retailer Costco, at 32-50 Vernon Blvd. near Ravenswood.
Most said they would miss the Pathmark when it left, however.
“Here is better stuff,” said Manhattan resident Emerick Csontos, who often visits the neighborhood. “Everything looks fresh.”
The shoppers were not the only ones who said they were not looking forward to Pathmark’s flight. Nilufa Afrose, manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts at the same address, said her business would be slow after the loss of her longtime neighbor. She said her store and the Pathmark often shared customers.
“If they’re busy, we’re busy,” she said.
But not every shopper was heartbroken by the news.
Elmhurst resident Nicolae Kaladjian said he was prepared to buy more of his groceries from Stop & Shop.
“They’ll close up and somebody else will open up,” Kaladjian said of Pathmark. “It’s an expensive one. It’s not the cheaper one.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community News Group
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