The Save Mart grocery store in Yuba City, at Bridge Street and Gray Avenue since 2007, will be closing its doors permanently in March, corporate officials have confirmed.

"The slow economic recovery and competition from other nonunion retailers have kept this store from performing at the level required to sustain it," Ed Popke, executive director of customer experience at the Modesto-based Save Mart, said in a statement.

The closure of the 700 Gray Avenue store, which has been home to Lucky's and Albertson's stores in past decades, will take place March 15. Save Mart acquired the store and property in 2007 during the chain's acquisition of Albertson's.

Save Mart's 49 employees were officially notified of the closure in a company meeting on Friday, Popke said.

Popke said the company is working with union representatives to assist employees through the change. There was no word if employees losing their jobs would be given preference in filling vacant positions at other stores.

"This is definitely a hit, and those were union jobs," said Darin Gale, Yuba City economic development manager.

Popke said there are no plans to close the Save Mart store in Marysville nor either of two FoodMaxx stores it also owns in Yuba City and Linda.

The closure will leave Yuba City with two large retail vacancies, the other being the Orchard Supply hardware store in the Feather Down shopping center. It closed last summer after the chain was purchased by Lowe's.

Gale said the city has for the most part maintained the same number of grocery stores for more than a decade.

"However, within the region, there are smaller Dollar General stores opening up and they compete directly with grocery stores," Gale said.

In addition, he noted other stores have upgraded over the years.

"I know residents like newer and nicer stores, and some of the stores have done remodels," Gale said.

He also acknowledged the addition of groceries at Yuba City's Target store nearly two years ago, along with groceries being sold at Walmart.

"It (Save Mart) obviously does not provide the full services that come with shopping at Target and Walmart," Gale said.

CONTACT Eric Vodden at 749-4769. 

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