Marlena Tocco has always had a special connection to the Cherry Hill Pathmark. Not only has Tocco shopped at the supermarket all her life, but her mother has worked at the store for 16 years. That’s why both were shocked when they learned that the neighborhood institution will be closing permanently.
“She was shocked,” Marlena said. “She got a voicemail and she was like, ‘Oh my God!’”
The Cherry Hill location is one of the three Pathmark stores that are set to close in September, laying off hundreds of workers, including Tocco’s mother. The Pathmark workers Union President says the stores are closing in Cherry Hill, Camden and Edgewater because they aren’t profitable. The closures will leave at least 228 workers jobless.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” said Sam Ferraino, president of Local 1360. “I knew they weren’t doing well but I didn’t expect them to pull the plug on these stores.”
But shoppers and employees at Pathmark won’t be the only ones affected by the closures. The loss of the three stores means less competition at stores like Wegmans and ShopRite and also the potential for higher prices.
“The scary part is, you worry that if too many chains go, people won’t have any choices,” Ferraino said.
NBC10 tried to contact representatives from Pathmark but have not yet received a response. Meanwhile customers who made the stores part of their weekly ritual are preparing to make a big adjustment.
“You come here once a week,” said Richard Hurley. “You meet these people. You know them all by name, Diane, Bill.”
The Pathmark locations will close in 60 days, according to Union officials.