The owners of Shaw's and Star Market said while the individual stores have not been profitable for some time, the closings are not a result of the overhaul health of the two chains and that there are no plans to close additional stores. In New Hampshire, about 450 people work at the stores slated to close, and employees will be offered jobs at other Shaw's locations when possible, the company said.
The affected New Hampshire stores are in Seabrook, Goffstown, Manchester, Tilton, West Lebanon and Keene. In Keene, customers said Tuesday they weren't surprised given that several other grocery stores have been built in recent years and Shaw's had struggled to compete. But some said they would miss the store.
"I'm heartbroken," customer Joan Soucy told WMUR-TV. "I shop here every day. I don't know where I'm going to go."
Many who shop at the store said it was convenient.
"It's close to another shopping center, so you don't have to travel all the way across town to get your food," said shopper Norma Cannon. "You go to Wal-Mart and get your stuff, and then come here and get your food."
Laura Keith King, president of the greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, said the economy is strengthening and she doesn't think local workers will be unemployed for long.
"As with most grocery stores, a lot of them are part time, and I believe those people will find jobs pretty easily," King said.