Bottom Dollar Food announced on Nov. 5 that it has plans to sell all store locations and leasing responsibilities to Aldi, Inc., leaving many residents concerned about what will become of the Bordentown location.
Delhaize Group, the parent company of Bottom Dollar Food, stated that it would close all of its 66 store locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by the end of this year as the company is stopping discount food retail and focusing on traditional supermarket operations. The 20,665-square-foot Bordentown store, located on Route 130, opened in April of 2012 filling the void of the Acme that had relocated to Dunns Mill Road several years earlier. The relocation left the convenient location vacant for several years.
“We were just talking about it and we are very disappointed,” said Jennifer Krencicki, a Bordentown resident. “I loved having Bottom Dollar there because you can’t beat their prices on some things. People who work there are always very nice, and I’ve been hearing mixed reviews about Aldi.”
The closing of all locations will displace 2,200 employees, according to Bottom Dollar Food’s website. All employees will be offered severance packages and eligible employees will be provided with transitional career services.
“This decision was difficult given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate,” said Gene Faller, vice president of operations, in a statement. “We want to thank our associates, customers and communities for their support over the past 4 years.”
An employee at the Bordentown location said she is not aware of many details of the closing, and is worried about what is yet to come. However, the manager of that store and the company were unable to give any further comment on future plans.
“We really don’t know much about it,” said the employee.
Some residents have expressed interest in having a Trader Joe’s put into the location once vacant. An Aldi public relations representative explained that, due to the pending transaction, Aldi could not disclose much information. Other local publications have indicated that Aldi will receive a total monetary settlement of $15 million for all 66 stores from Delhaize Group once the transaction has ended.
“Unfortunately we cannot discuss any information as the transaction is still ongoing,” he said.
A customer service representative from Aldi said employees from Bottom Dollar Food are encouraged to apply for jobs with the company. “We welcome Bottom Dollar Food employees to consider applying for open positions at Aldi,” she said in an email. “Aldi is proud to be an employer of choice, offering compensation and benefits that are above industry standard.”
While many residents are showing alarm over the closing of the store, a number of the customers indicated they were not aware of the impending sale.
“My roommate shops here all the time and I shop here at least once a month,” said Hannah, a customer at the Bordentown location. “I didn’t know of this until just now.”
Steve Benowitz, mayor of Bordentown, expressed a positive outlook for future ventures at the location. “We are being proactive for our progressive tax payers,” he said. “We are reaching out to property owners right now and are going forward with an aggressive marketing plan.”
No matter which commercial establishment takes hold of the location, Benowitz said, it will provide a favorable economic impact for the township.
“People can petition but it is ultimately up to the property owner and at this point I’m not sure what will happen,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it is a Trader Joe’s or an Aldi, it will find its own niche in the community just as Bottom Dollar did.”