NORTH ADAMS — The Price Chopper supermarket chain announced Monday that it will to close its North Adams store at 245 State Road by the end of February.
The market, which has been located in North Adams since 1959, will officially close on Feb. 27, according to the company.
The store's 57 employees were notified of the decision, "first thing today," said Mona Golub, Price Chopper's vice president of public relations and consumer services. Only 15 of those employees work full-time.
Price Chopper is providing professional outplacement service for all store employees. The chain's nearest outlets to North Adams are located in Pittsfield and Bennington, Vt.
"Our nearest stores are 20 to 40 miles away," Golub said. "For those who are willing to traverse that distance we are (providing) applications. For those who are not we have offered severance packages based on years of service.
"Price Chopper has a long history in the North Adams community and we value the relationships that we've built with our customers, local community partners and teammates (employees)," she said. "After thoroughly reviewing the store's current and future viability, we've concluded that closure is the appropriate action to take with this location."
Price Chopper owns the building that the market is located in, according to North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright. The store underwent a top-to-bottom renovation in 1979, according to Eagle files.
The North Adams Price Chopper is one of the smallest of the five stores that its parent company, the New York-based Golub Corp., operates in Berkshire County. The chain operates a total of 136 markets in six states.
Besides North Adams and Pittsfield, Price Chopper's other Berkshire County outlets are located in Great Barrington, Lee and Lenox.
The Pittsfield store, dubbed a "superstore" when it was renovated in 1982, was converted into Price Chopper's Market 32 brand last year.
When the Pittsfield conversion began in 2014, Golub said, the chain expected to convert all its markets to Market 32s within eight or nine years.
"That particular location with that size store is not viable," Golub said of the North Adams store.
"It's never easy to close a store, and we rarely do," she said, "but we have an obligation to make business decisions that support the company's continued health and growth."
Alcombright termed Price Chopper's decision "very unfortunate," adding that it will affect residents of the city's West End who live in the nearby Greylock and Brayton Hill apartment complexes.
"Those apartments bookend Price Chopper and many of those folks either don't have transportation or walk to the market," Alcombright said. "That's going to be rough.
"It's small and quaint, one of the last neighborhood markets," he said. "I'm sad to see it go."
Alcombright said he was pleased with Price Chopper's plans for its former employees.
"I do understand that they're going to very actively work with their employees on relocation," he said. "I'm just hopeful that at end of day people find employment for that."
He said severance packages based on years of service is "as good as it gets."