By Rebecca Henely
A spokeswoman from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. said Wednesday the Pathmark in Long Island City, a major supermarket in the neighborhood, is set to close at the end of August.
“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,” A&P spokeswoman Marcy Connor said in a statement.
Rumors had been flying over whether or not the supermarket, which is located at 42-02 Northern Blvd., would be closing. Kate Meckler, spokeswoman for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342, which represents the employees, said Tuesday the union was waiting to see whether or not Pathmark would shut its doors.
“We’re kind of wondering what’s going on,” she said before the A&P statement.
But Connor said the company had informed members of the union about its plans toward the end of May.
“We notified our union partners on May 23, and we began notifying associates on May 29,” Connor said. “As part of the store closing process, future assignments will be handled pursuant to associate’s respective collective bargaining agreements.”
Connor said the late August closing date will be four months before the Pathmark’s current lease has run out.
Pathmark has faced increased competition from nationwide discounters in the neighborhood, such as Costco and BJ’s, which opened after the supermarket put down its roots on Northern Boulevard, according to one woman who lives in the area.
Pathmark, one of the first supermarket grocery chains, was begun by three men — Herb Brody, Milton Perlmutter and Alex Aidekman — in 1968. In addition to its numerous locations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, it has three other Queens stores in Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and Whitestone.
Another supermarket chain owned by A&P that has locations in the borough is Waldbaum’s, which has stores in Jackson Heights, College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Belle Harbor, two in Flushing and two in Howard Beach.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.