NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Residents were disappointed to find the city’s newest supermarket, the FreshGrocer, will be no longer be open around the clock.
After more than a year of never closing, even for holidays, the store cut back its hours for the first time on Sunday January 26.
The New Brunswick FreshGrocer store is now open from 7am-10pm every day, according to signs posted in the store.
As we reported, the company sold its brand name to Wakefern, best known for the Shop-Rite brand, in August. As Shop-Rite products took over the shelves at the grocer, Wakefern began implementing many other changes to the new store.
At first, a FreshGrocer spokeswoman said that the store would not change hours.
“Yes, The Fresh Grocer in New Brunswick plans to remain open 24 hours,” said Carly Spross in an email to New Brunswick Today on August 1.
But eventually Wakefern got their way, cutting the operating hours back by nine hours each day, much to the chagrin of late-night shoppers.
Santina Stankevich, a spokeswoman for Wakefern, the nation’s largest retailer’s co-operative, said the new hours “are better suited to the neighborhood and the times at which our customers are working and commuting via the nearby train station.”
According to Mitch Karon, the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Parking Authority, the grocer’s lease is unaffected by the change in hours.
“Lease terms require opening between 9AM and 8 PM, they are meeting that requirement,” Karon told New Brunswick Today.
According to Wakefern, no employees were let go as a result of the change in operating hours. As of November, Stankevich said the store employed “more than 200 associates.”
Chris Paladino, President of New Brunswick Development Corporation, the private non-profit who built the building did not respond to an email requesting comment on the matter, nor did the spokesman for New Brunswick’s Mayor James Cahill.
Editor’s Note: The author of this article was a part of the team that opened the FreshGrocer in November 2012, and is no longer affiliated with the company.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.