FOODTOWN TO SHUT NEWEST STORE

Img_5641Now available: 46,000 square feet in Shrewsbury.

Just ten months after the owners of Red Bank’s SuperFoodtown expanded into the former Stop & Shop supermarket half a mile away on Newman Springs Road, the new store will be shut down, redbankgreen has learned.

Food Circus veep Phil Scaduto confirms that the 46,000-square-foot Shrewsbury store will close on August 16 after a wind-down of the perishables business. Some layoffs based on seniority are expected as the company tries to accomodate workers at other stores, he says.

What happened? “The store underperformed for a large number of reasons,” ranging from the softening of the economy to visibility and access shortcomings, Scaduto says.

“We just don’t feel it’s a viable location for us going forward.”

The closing marks a swift turnabout at the location, where shoppers were relatively infrequent compared to the SuperFoodtown on Broad Street in Red Bank.

In taking over the store last year, company officials expressed confidence they’d be able to draw shoppers from Shrewsbury, Tinton Falls and Lincroft who were reluctant to travel that last half-mile through the bottleneck at routes 35 and 520 to reach the Red Bank store.

That expectation didn’t play out. Scaduto, though, says the move doesn’t mean taking over the site in the first place was a miscalculation.

“It’s the nature of our business,” he says. “We work on very, very thin margins, and you can recognize the way sales are trending.”

At the Shrewsbury location, “we’re so far beneath where we need to be.”

The property, assessed at $7.9 million, is owned by Shrewsbury/Newman Springs Road LLC, as it has been for the past 12 years or so, according to records held by the Monmouth County Clerk’s office. It is managed by Sudler Management Corp. in Parsipanny.

Scaduto says Food Circus has a lease on the property and will attempt to sublease it.

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