Balducci's Shutting D.C. Store
Gourmet grocer Balducci's is planning to shut down its only store in the District at the end of June in another blow for the embattled chain.
The store on New Mexico Avenue near American University is one of four locations -- the others are in Ridgefield, Conn., and New York City -- slated to close under a company reorganization. Balducci's spokeswoman Jennifer Barton said the stores in Bethesda, McLean and Alexandria will remain open, along with Greenwich and Westport, Conn., and Scarsdale, N.Y.
Barton declined to comment on the reason for the closures or the fate of the stores' employees. But the Balducci's chain has struggled to stabilize management and costs for much of this decade. Now recession-minded consumers are scaling back on luxuries such as fine cheeses and olive oils, hurting sales at even the largest players such as Whole Foods.
"They have a model which is pricey, and right now the economy is not tailored toward pricey," said Jeffrey S. Metzger, publisher of trade magazine Food World. "It's a difficult place to shop in terms of your weekly needs."
-Ylan Q. Mui
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