After The Sun News reported Thursday that the Piggly Wiggly in The Market Common will close, representatives for the grocer said the store will shut down by the end of October.
The store’s “discounted inventory reduction sale” is beginning Oct. 3, according to a release from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company.
Heather Gray, the general manager of The Market Common, confirmed that the store’s lease is still active, but declined to comment on the terms, duration or monthly rent for the store.
Gray said there was interest in the space, but could not provide details, and she could not estimate the time it could take to re-lease the space. She called it a “top priority” for her organization.
“Rather than rush to fill the space, will be working to find a tenant that best compliments the mix of existing businesses at The Market Common,” she wrote in an email to The Sun News.
David Schools, chief executive officer of Piggly Wiggly Carolina, said the store was not hitting revenue targets and faced stiff competition from nearby grocers.
“We tried to work out a deal with the landlord that might would have allowed us to stay open a little longer until we could find a long-term solution, but those negotiations broke down,” he said.
Schools also declined to comment on the monthly rent for the store, but confirmed that the lease is longer than the store will stay open.
Schools said the Market Common location, which opened in 2008, struggled initially as the housing crisis hit and then never recovered when homebuilding in the area ramped up again.
“I think folks saw the economy was turning around [after the recession] and a bunch of people tried to cash in,” Schools said. “I definitely think there are too many supermarkets in the Myrtle Beach area.”
The 40,000-square foot store had 65 employees. Schools said about half were full-time and half part-time employees. There are not clear paths for the workers to transfer to other stores because no other location is owned by Piggly Wiggly Carolina, he said.
Schools added that the company is offering severance packages and references to ease the transition.
“It’s just one of those things. It’s the end of an era,” Schools said.