Vons to close 2 Fresno stores

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The popular grocery chain Vons has been losing a very competitive battle for customers in Fresno, so it will close down two stores. (KFSN)

The popular grocery chain Vons has been losing a very competitive battle for customers in Fresno, so it will close down two stores.

Vons shoppers we talked to had no idea their shopping spot was closing. Business owners were also worried about losing an anchor store.

On June 12, two Vons grocery stores were scheduled to close. One was located at Blackstone near Ashlan. The other store was located at First and Nees. Regulars at the Northeast Fresno location were shocked to hear the store was closing.

Gloria Brown said, "I'm really sad to hear that. I really like Vons. I don't even live near here, but I come to this Vons because the one by us closed."

Sandy Thompson added, "You get a favorite supermarket you want to run in and out of, and you get to know the people and everything, and then all of a sudden it's gone."

Albertson Safeway Norcal Division Senior communications & government relations manager Keith Turner said in an email, "Despite the best efforts of the company and our employees, these stores have not been profitable for quite some time."

But shoppers in the Woodward Village shopping center said the parking lot is always packed with so many homes and apartment complexes nearby.

Shopper Libby Schiltz said, "It usually tends to be quite busy here. That and the bagel place does that, so I'm very surprised actually. I'm going to miss it big time."

Neighboring restaurants like the Crackin' Claw and the Angry Asian have enjoyed the convenience of shopping next door for supplies. Vons has been the anchor of this shopping center, so losing it will hurt.

Restaurant owner Efren Evangelista said, "People come to Vons and see us here. If Vons is gone, maybe our exposure to customers would decline dramatically."

Evangelista and other business owners in the shopping center hoped another store replaces Vons.

The company said it was in the process of trying to place employees into other local stores.

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