Waterbury ShopRite store to close, 200 jobs eliminated – mySA

A ShopRite store in Waterbury is closing at a cost of about 200 jobs — though with one of the best job markets in memory, giving those workers hope of landing on their feet.

Tornaquindici Supermarkets filed notice with the state Department of Labor of the pending store closure, with the company also owning a ShopRite location in Bristol. ShopRite of Waterbury is located on Wolcott Street within walking distance of a Stop & Shop supermarket, a few miles north of Interstate 84.

The store is set to close at end of September, the company announced in a post to its Facebook page that owner Paul Tornaquindici plans to retire.

“We appreciate the support of the community and thank you for the opportunity to be of service to you,” the post stated.

In the DOL letter, however, the company cited “economic business reasons” for the closure. Tornaquindici could not be reached immediately for details and whether the company considered finding a buyer as an alternative to an outright closure.

ShopRite is one of the larger supermarket brands in Connecticut, with stores under independent ownership but affiliated to the New Jersey-based Wakefern Food cooperative based in New Jersey.

The closure of ShopRite on Wolcott Street and Paul Tornaquindici’s retirement is a great loss for our city,” Mayor Neil O’Leary said in a statement, adding that his office is available to help those left without a job and officials will work to fill the space. “There is real concern over the loss of more than 200 jobs as a result of this closing.”

“Paul’s charitable efforts in our community deserve praise,” O’Leary continued “His annual Help Bag Hunger Day event, which raises awareness and finances to help feed the hungry, is just one of the numerous causes he has supported over the years as a valued corporate partner.

On Facebook, ShopRite indicated Waterbury employees would be given the opportunity to apply for jobs at other ShopRite stores. Adams Hometown Markets, Aldi, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods Market are among the retailers listing open positions this month in Waterbury or surrounding towns.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; @casoulman 

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