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Ford City Foodland closing this week

| Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

Spagnolo's Foodland on Fourth Avenue in Ford City is closing after holding its final sale this week.

After 12 years as owner, John Spagnolo, 55, of Cranberry Township said he will retire and close the store as soon as he runs out of items to sell. He reduced all prices by 30 percent and expects Saturday to be the store's final day.

“It took some time and a lot of tears to make the decision, but the numbers just weren't adding up anymore,” Spagnolo said. “A friend once said that it's either time or money, and at my age, I decided I'd rather take the time.”

Spagnolo, who works at the store every day, said he was getting tired of his daily commute and wants to spend more time with his family.

But his decision to close the store was rooted in economics. He said his store, which employs 28, and other small grocers are struggling to compete with larger chains and corporations. His store had experienced a decline in sales in the last several years, despite a sizeable customer base.

“Even with that many people, it just wasn't enough. This was a numbers-based decision,” Spagnolo said. “I'm going to really miss the customers because I know a lot of their life stories. That's what brings the most tears to my eyes.”

The business that Spagnolo bought in 2002 had been a Shop n' Save for 18 years before he took it over. Its closing will end a 30-year run as the only neighborhood grocery store in Ford City.

Resident Kathy Herbst said the store closing will be a big loss for Ford City, as she walked a cart full of groceries to her car on Tuesday.

“It's really sad to see it close because it's pretty much all there is in town,” Herbst said. “I feel especially bad for anyone who has to walk because it just won't be here anymore. It's really a shame. Hopefully something else will come in here.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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