BELLINGHAM - Two major grocery stores - the Cost Cutter on Meridian Street and the one in Sunset Square - will close later this year.
The 73,000-square-foot store at 4131 Meridian St. will close to make way for a new undisclosed tenant.
While the 67,000-square-foot Sunset Square store also will close, Safeway Inc. will acquire the pharmacy portion of the store and keep it open. That transition is expected to take place this fall, according to a news release from Cost Cutter owner The Markets LLC.
The news release announcing the closures was sent by email at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, with The Markets indicating it would not comment beyond what was written in the release. Attempts to reach Safeway officials after 5 p.m. were unsuccessful.
Both stores will begin closing sales until inventory is sold. Workers at both locations will be placed in other stores, according to union contracts and job availability, the news release said. It did not say how many employees would be affected.
Pharmacy employees at the Sunset Cost Cutter are expected to continue working there once Safeway takes it over this fall.
The two stores have been staples in the Bellingham grocery market for more than 20 years. Known for low prices, both stores would have competed for the same shoppers as WinCo, which opened a store Thursday at 300 E. Bellis Fair Parkway, a few blocks from the Meridian Cost Cutter.
Closure of the Sunset Square store will leave a major empty space in the retail center that also had the closure of a movie theater in December 2012. Regal Cinemas closed its theater there after it opened its new facility in the Barkley district.
With the closure of the two stores, the remaining Cost Cutter locations are in Blaine and Ferndale. The company also owns the Lynden Food Pavilion and the Everson Market, according to its website. Under The Markets name, the company owns stores in Birch Bay and on Lakeway Drive in Bellingham.
STORES TO CLOSE
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