Fairway store in Red Hook, along with Douglaston in Queens and Plainview and Westbury on Long Island, are expected to close by July 17, according to the company’s updated filings with the Labor Department. Fairway has been struggling since 2016 and the stores had been expected to close by the end of June.
In the updated filing, the company informed that 75 employees at the Red Hook will be let go. The company employed 2,256 across its 14 locations.
Red Hook Fairway opened in 2006, and was the largest of the company’s stores. It was decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and struggled once Whole Foods opened in Gowanus in December of 2013, providing a closer and more convenient shopping experience to the area’s more affluent residents.
“Fairway filed for bankruptcy protection in January, its second Chapter 11 in four years. Customers had moved on to stores such as Wegmans or Whole Foods, and Fairway’s comparable-store sales fell 5% last year, and its $66 million loss left it unable to service its formidable debt load,” Crain’s reported this month. “The debt is a hangover from when a private-equity firm with no experience in supermarkets bought Fairway from the founding family in 2007 for $150 million and tried to expand the business quickly.”
The Georgetown Fairway at 2149 Ralph Avenue which opened just three years ago and employed 127 people has a sale pending and is expected to become a Key Food Store.
A person close to the matter told Crain’s that “a last-minute rescue” may be possible for the Brooklyn, Queens and Westbury stores. When the news were first reported of the stores closing back in January, Fairway’s Red Hook landlord Greg T. O’Connell told TRD that “If Fairway Market, its current owners, and prospective purchasers deem this location unsuitable, we will immediately seek a grocery operation to take the space.”