HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Call it the "Ukrop's effect". Now that the iconic grocery chain has been sold, other companies are finding it more difficult to do business...costing workers their jobs.
Today we learned eighty employees at the Supervalu plant in Hanover County will soon be laid off, because Ukrop's, which accounted for 13% of its business, is no longer a client.
In the long supply chain of grocery items, they often make a pit stop at the Hanover County Supervalu plant. Truckers then deliver the goods to the supermarket, but this morning, the only thing being delivered: was bad news.
Supervalu will lay off eighty people, effective by the end of May, because the company that bought Ukrop's uses another supplier.
The layoffs are a small fraction of the 1100 people who work here. And so far, it's unclear which jobs will be cut. For that reason, numerous employees we spoke with at a convenience store declined to appear on camera.
They said they were on their way to lunch, down the street...where the ripple effect, is more like a shockwave.
"Big company like them, that's gonna lay off people, it's going to affect everybody around. Not just us as far as lunch business," said Anthony Taormina, Brunetti's Restaurant.
Employees learned about the layoffs in a morning meeting with top executives. When 25 Ukrop's stores were sold to the company that own Martin's Food Markets, many expected Supervalu's payroll would have to be cut. They were right.
In a statement, Martin's regional VP later said "This decision will help us bring better prices to the marketplace." So the big question now is which jobs will be cut? Company insiders say it may depend on seniority, but the official line is, "every job is on the table."