Flatbush Stop and Shop to close, leaving residents worried about lack of affordable goods | Catch My Job


Stop & Shop will not renew its lease at its Flatbush store, the company said, closing one of the neighborhood’s few supermarkets and leaving residents worried about having to commute or pay higher prices for their groceries.

The national grocery chain’s store at 1009 Flatbush Avenue, at the corner of Flatbush Ave and Tilden Ave, was not meeting the company’s financial targets, said Stephanie Shuman, Stop & Shop communications manager. No closing date has been set yet, and the store will continue to operate throughout the holiday season, he said.

For many who rely on the store for their grocery needs, the news comes as a surprise and a disappointment.

“There is no other supermarket nearby,” said Chantel Smith, who visits the store almost every week while shopping with her mother, who lives nearby. “Where are we going to go next?”

Standing outside the store last week, Smith said she had heard rumors that the store might be closing. But the supermarket had no signs indicating it would be closing, and she said she had hoped the rumors were not true.

“It’s a staple in the neighborhood,” Smith said, adding that she remembers when there was a Sears across the street and a Walgreens around the corner. But, in recent years, those shops have closed, and other small businesses have also closed. Now, vacant lots or high-rise residential buildings stand in their place, he said.

With the closing of this grocery store, Smith said she and her mother will likely drive to downtown Brooklyn, where she knows there is another Stop & Shop. But that location doesn’t have free parking, which is a draw for many to the Flatbush location, he said. And, worst of all, it is much further away.

Flatbush is already an area of ​​high need for supermarkets, according to a 2018 City analysis. The closing of one of the few chain grocery stores in the neighborhood makes that problem even worse, said Alison Zaccone, director of communications at the a Flatbush non-profit. CAMBA foundation, which provides resources to low-income New Yorkers.

“In this particular neighborhood, losing this grocery store when options are already limited is going to create a real food desert,” Zaccone said.

The organization’s food pantry, located around the corner from the Stop & Shop, serves many more people now than before the pandemic began, Zaccone said. “With how many people are still struggling, along with the closure of this supermarket, we don’t expect those numbers to go back down anytime soon,” he added.

Grocery prices in the New York City area have risen 10 percent in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those commuting to a supermarket, the price of a subway or gas fare pushes the cost of a trip to the grocery store even higher, exacerbating the impact of inflation, Zaccone said.

High food prices worry Mike Pierre, who lives nearby and relies on this Stop & Shop for most of his grocery needs. When the store closes, Pierre said it will be difficult to find the foods he likes near his home, with prices in smaller stores significantly higher than those he is used to in the food chain. He will have to change his weekly shopping list to make it more affordable, he said.

But, Pierre added, the closure of the Stop & Shop will not only limit access to affordable goods. It will also change the fabric of the neighbourhood.

“I won’t be able to get around friends and shop around with friends,” Pierre said. “I must go further, out of my time.”


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