Martin's closing 3 Richmond-area stores

Martin's closing 3 Richmond-area stores

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Three more Martin's stores will close next summer in the Richmond area, the company announced on Friday.

The stores closing are at 3300 S. Crater Road in Petersburg, 7324 Bell Creek Road in Mechanicsville and 3000 Stony Point Road in Richmond. The company closed the store at 7129 Staples Mills Road in July.

The company says the leases for the locations are all set to expire and the company decided not to extend them.

"We have made the difficult decision to close these locations," said Tom Lenkevich, MARTIN'S president. "The Petersburg, Mechanicsville and Stony Point store teams have worked very hard and we greatly appreciate the dedicated service of our associates."

The 357 employees will be offered to apply for openings at nearby stores. Full-time employees will also be offered separation benefits and transition support.

Martin's is also replacing the Bermuda Square store on Jefferson Davis Highway in Chester with a new, 66,500 square foot store, opening in 2016.

The parent companies of Martin's and Food Lion announced in June plans to merge.

European based grocery chains Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group are forming a new company, Ahold Delhaize, which will create the sixth largest food retailer in the United States. Combined, the two companies have more than 6,500 stores and 375,000 employees worldwide.

Martin's is currently the number one grocery store in Richmond in terms of sales, but only slightly. This past year, Walmart passed Food Lion as the number two grocery store, leaving Food Lion at number three and Kroger at number four.  It's this intense competition from these large national chains that likely motivated the owners of Food Lion and Martin's to merge and grow their geographic footprint.

However, representatives at both Food Lion and Martin's have said customers can expect things to remain the same until the merger is finalized sometime in mid-2016.

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