Several readers have written in today with the news that Delano’s Market, home of the double coupon, is closing in the next couple of weeks.
I stopped by the store this afternoon and saw signs posted, announcing their reduced hours. Normally the market is open 24 hours but starting tomorrow, they will only operate from 8am until 8pm daily.
Other than the store hours announcements, the only other sign there was something amiss were the empty shelves in many of the aisles. As I took photos, one woman asked me “Are they in trouble?” and when I replied they were closing, her mouth fell open in disbelief.
I spoke to a couple of store staff while I was there, James and Daniel. Both men have 20 plus years working at the Geary location which has changed hands several times since it first opened as a CALA Foods many years ago.
They told me that the market would be closing soon but they didn’t know exactly when. “When the food is all sold, we guess!” joked one of them.
Not every staff member was as lighthearted about the closure – one reader reported that staff at the store were in tears about the closure when he shopped there today.
Despite their looming unemployment, James and Daniel said that they’ve always loved working at the market. James was born and raised in the city. When I asked what was next for them they laughingly replied, almost in unison, “We’re going to live off our wives!”
Other employees guessed the store would officially close in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, no fresh food is being stocked in the store – there are already large, gaping holes in the milk, bread and egg aisle.
So why is Delano’s Market closing? James and Daniel said the market chain is in financial distress and would be declaring bankruptcy soon. James emphasized that the Geary location does fine, but that the other six Delano’s locations in the greater Bay Area have been struggling. Curiously when I tried to visit their website tonight at delanomarkets.com, it came up empty.
I was not able to confirm with Delano’s if bankruptcy issues are the reason for the closure. Some readers asked if the planned opening of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market at 32nd and Clement next year contributed to Delano’s demise, but that does not seem to be the case.
For outer Richmond residents the closure of Delano’s further limits their choices for supermarket shopping. Neighbors will have to drive or bus out to the Safeway at Ocean Beach (48th Avenue) or head the other direction to the Safeway on 7th Avenue at Cabrillo. Either way, a long trek for shoppers that have relied on the Geary & 27th Avenue market for many years.
The closure also leaves a gaping vacancy on Geary Street – the market’s lot spans the entire length of the block between 27th and 28th Avenues. Let’s hope that the property owner has some other tenants lined up or at least a plan in place to keep the area clean and secure.
Are you a Delano’s shopper? How do you feel about the market closing?