Bottom Dollar Food to close all 66 stores

HAMILTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- John Basile is heartbroken to find out that the local Bottom Dollar Food store on Broad Street in Hamilton, New Jersey is closing soon.

"It's terrible. Why? The food prices are great, I live right around the corner," he said.

It's one of 66 Bottom Dollar stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that will be shutting down after being sold by their parent company to ALDI, a leading competitor.

"Being retired on a fixed income, it's great. The prices are super, let me tell you," said Basile.

"A lot of times when you go to the store, especially in the inner-city, the meats aren't always fresh. But at Bottom Dollar they were fresh and they were reasonably priced. This is really bad news," said Shamyr Johnson from Camden.

A spokesman for Bottom Dollar says the decision to sell was difficult given the effect it will have on customers and employees.

About 2,200 people will be lose their jobs.

"I feel sorry for the workers too. They are going to be out of jobs and you got more unemployment happening. It's not good," said Francesca Velez from Trenton.

Officials at the Crisis Ministries Food Pantry in Trenton say closing discount supermarkets in some areas considered food deserts will affect shoppers.

"It's so important for people who are low income to have access to places like Bottom Dollar to get cost savings on the food they are purchasing. They're already working with such a limited budget for food," said Carolyn Biondi from Crisis Ministries.

Pantry operators say losing the Bottom Dollar stores will force some people to shift to more expensive corner grocery stores and others to travel farther to get to another supermarket.

"About 3 to 4 miles down the road so it'd be inconvenient to go that far. So I hope they don't close down," said Jack Johnson from Hamilton.

ALDI has not said yet if it will take over the Bottom Dollar locations.

Bottom dollar stores are expected to remain open until the end of the year.

When they do close, the brand name will be retired.

The closings will impact the 46 stores in the Philadelphia area and 20 near Pittsburgh.
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