March 29, 2023
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SLO Spencer’s to close, be replaced by Grocery Outlet


Spencer’s Fresh Markets in the Laguna Village Shopping Center in San Luis Obispo is closing at the end of January and will be replaced by two new stores, according to the business and mall management.

Berkeley-based discount grocery chain Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will become the new grocery anchor at the Laguna Village center, occupying 20,000 square feet of the former Spencer’s space. It is expected to open in August 2014, according to mall management. The chain has an older store in Santa Maria and opened in Atascadero in 2011 and Lompoc in 2012. Each store is independently owned.

The other 13,000 square feet of the subdivided Spencer’s space is slated for a second tenant that’s currently in lease negotiations, mall management said.

“The landlord has invested significant efforts and resources to create a tenant-mix of attractive and affordable restaurants, service businesses, a CVS Drug Store and a grocery store, all of which are essential for the success of a neighborhood shopping center,” property manager Randy Poltl said in a statement.

There are more than 200 Grocery Outlet stores in California. The privately held company’s expansion has been fueled in large part by investment from Boston-based private-equity firm Berkshire Partners, according to a news release.

The firm claims to offer brand-name groceries — including dry goods, refrigerated and frozen foods, deli selects, produce, meat, housewares and health and beauty products — at up to 50 percent off of conventional retail prices.

The Laguna Village center said it plans to complete the final phase of a remodel that includes new street signage, added landscaping, parking lot repairs and an interior and exterior remodel of the Grocery Outlet building before the new tenant moves in.

In a statement, Spencer’s Fresh Markets owner John Spencer confirmed that the San Luis Obispo store will close when its lease ends on Jan. 31, 2014. All store employees will be offered positions at the other Spencer’s locations in Santa Maria and Morro Bay, the company said.

Spencer’s has been a co-anchor, along with CVS, at the Laguna Village center for the last five years. Spencer has considered opening other locations in both San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County “but has no expansion announcement to make at this time,” according to the statement.