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Kittanning Foodland announces it will close

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Kittanning Foodland announced on its website Tuesday that it will be closing its store in the Hilltop Plaza in East Franklin “in the near future.”

A message partially spelled out in green and red peppers and broccoli is posted on the home page of the store's website: “Thank You — from your friends at Foodland Supermarket.” Above it is the following text:

“Hi folks. It's with sadness in our hearts that we announce the closing of Kittanning Foodland. It truly has been a great run, and we've built some friendships with the community over the years that will last forever. Due to economic reasons, we're unable to continue operations. There's no confirmed date, but we'll be officially closing in the near future. Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.”

Foodland has been in Hilltop Plaza since 1992. The store was located for 10 years in the building that houses the driver's license center and other offices in West Kittanning.

Owner George Hathaway could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening, but words from former owner Butch Kane in a story published in 2009 about grocery stores may have turned out to be an accurate foreshadowing of what was to happen to Foodland.

Kane predicted that local grocery stores were OK at the time, but said if the economy kept going downhill and more people lost their jobs, that could change. He cited a trend of consumers spending less while expenses to operate a store continued to rise.

“It's affecting all grocery stores,” he said.

Foodland's announcement was made just two months after Spagnolo's Foodland on Fourth Avenue in Ford City closed its doors after 14 years.

Its owner, John Spagnolo, 55, of Cranberry, retired and closed the store after seeing a decline in sales over the last several years. He cited difficulties competing with larger corporations in the grocery business as a reason for declining sales.

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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