After over 50 years in Glenwood Springs, Safeway will close its grocery store and pharmacy on Grand Avenue in mid-April.
The store’s 54 employees were told the news Friday, with one saying Monday that “it took everyone off-guard here.” Kris Staaf, director of public affairs for the Denver division of Albertsons, Safeway’s parent company, said the employees will be offered “positions at other store locations based on their interest.”
A company statement she released says that “this was a tough decision made after careful deliberation. For more than a year, we evaluated this store extensively and looked at options to improve its performance. Ultimately, our business analysis indicated that we needed to close the store.
“Like all retailers, we are constantly evaluating every aspect of our business, and while closing this store was a difficult decision, we are focusing on growing our business and reinvesting those resources into remodeling our existing stores in Colorado,” the statement says.
Staaf said she could not elaborate on the store’s performance. The employee contacted Monday said they had “no idea” why the store was closing and that it was too early for many to have made decisions about whether to take jobs with the company elsewhere — Albertsons has 103 stores in Colorado. The person asked not to be named because they did not have permission to speak to the media.
The corporation owns the high-profile lot, which sits between a Starbucks and Glenwood Springs High School, and Staaf said the plan is to put the property on the market.
Angie Anderson, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said “it’s unfortunate for Glenwood Springs to lose a longstanding business, especially one that employs a number of people.
“Hopefully displaced employees will able to find work quickly, especially considering the low unemployment rate,” she wrote in an email.
Sharon Haller, coordinator with the Glenwood Springs Historical Society, said Safeway has had a presence in the city since 1966, once being located at 1525 Grand Ave., in front of what is now the high school.
The decision leaves Glenwood with two remaining grocery stores in City Market and Natural Grocers, though Target, Walmart and a handful of smaller businesses offer some similar products.
Editor's note: This story initially did not note one of the remaining grocery stores in Glenwood Springs and has been updated.