Monday, September 16, 2019

[Updated] The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town is said to close by year's end

The Associated Supermarket on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue along the southern border of Stuy Town isn't expected to stay open for much longer this year.

Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk emailed residents with the news on Friday afternoon (thank you to the EVG readers who shared this):

We share the community's disappointment that after 26 years, Associated Supermarket on 14th street, has decided to close its doors.

Know that we have and will continue to work with Associated's owners in an effort to accommodate their needs, including offering free rent in an attempt to keep the store open through the holidays. But even with this offer, Associated cannot guarantee that the store will remain open through the end of the year.

The owners have told us that the competitive environment for supermarkets, both locally and online, have led them to this unfortunate decision.

As for "tomorrow", StuyTown Property Services is working on finding a new tenant with full understanding that a local grocery store is important to the community; but this will take some time.

We're grateful to the owners and employees of Associated Supermarket for serving the needs of the Stuyvesant Town community for over two decades.

So the Associated owners are chalking this up to "the competitive environment," which will become even more competitive once the Trader Joe's opens across 14th some time in 2020.

The Associated here has had a turbulent few years. In 2015, the current Stuy Town management reportedly tried to buy out the lease. A Morton Williams was set to takeover the space, but they backed out upon learning of Trader Joe's impending arrival. The owners of Associated were able to work out a new lease in 2017.

The area surrounding the supermarket has also been chewed up during the L-train rehab work that started here in the summer of 2017.

Updated 1:30 p.m.

Per Crain's:

Joseph Falzon, the store’s owner for the past 26 years, said a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half and made it impossible to continue.

“We were very lucky to be open for a long time,” Falzon said. “Everything hit at once, like a perfect storm.”

Construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the store with a 12-foot-tall fence, he explained, slowing business further just as the city’s minimum wage hit $15 an hour.

"I have people that have been with me a long time and make a lot more than that," Falzon said, but he added that the higher minimum wage increased payroll "quite a bit."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Associated owners not having any luck shopping for a lease renewal on East 14th Street (34 comments)

Petition drive underway to help save the Stuy Town Associated on East 14th Street

Report: New Stuy Town owner pledges to keep a grocery story on East 14th Street, but it may not be Associated

Report: Morton Williams will take over the Associated space on 14th Street (27 comments)

Report: Morton Williams won't be taking over the 14th Street Associated after all


afbp said...

GOOD RIDDANCE----possibly the ABSOLUTE /MOST PATHETIC management/customer service in new york city.....

Anonymous said...

This is terrible news. Best hot food spot. Best people around. I miss them already.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine trying to manage a store like this - you have allspice sitting on the shelf all year that doesn't sell then the day before thanksgiving 1000 people show up expecting you to have allspice.

tom said...

This really sucks. I hate the meat, chicken selection from trader joes. It is all factory sealed with carbon monoxide, just google their packaging. Another store said to be closing up in the EV is Rossman Repair Group, the computer repair store on 11th and 1st ave. Louis Rossman the owner has a youtube channel and found another space in midtown and is under negotiations to move into the new place.

noble neolani said...

Associated did not keep up with the changing demographic unfortunately. I admit I stopped going there when I could find fresh fish at places like Westside Market which is a ten minute walk further for me. I'm not someone who shops on Amazon for many reason but the impending arrival of Trader Joe's pretty much made a comeback possible. I can't imagine what if any market opening in this spot or it succeeding.

Anonymous said...

Terrible news.
We need real supermarkets also.

dwg said...

Not the greatest store, but the basics were there, it's local and it's served a wide variety of customers, was part of the social fabric of the neighborhood. Trader Joe's will not do the same.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that truly affordable grocery is disappearing from NY. 14th Street from 1st to 12th Ave used to be a retail corridor of thrift and penny pinching. Forgetaboutit.

Anonymous said...

I don't really like this store too much (Mediocre/Subpar Produce) but it's another lost option. My guess is Target across the street has been eating up some of their sales and they are VERY worried about the TJ's opening across the street.

Gojira said...

14th Street and 1st used to have a Gristede's for the most prosperous EV residents, 14th between A and B had the Red Apple supermarket for lower-end clients like me, and 14th and B hosted the Pioneer Supermarket (whose sign promised "Where the Elite Buy Their Meat") for the poorest of the poor (also me, on occasion) - that one always smelled like an unchanged litter box inside, and the ceiling near the produce section had a big hole that constantly dripped dirty water. Associated may not be top of the line, but it has a decent selection of the basic food groups, and served the remaining seniors still living in Stuy Town, who may not be interested in Target's "Grab 'n Go" "food", or Trader Joe's offerings, well. I, for one, will miss it.

Anonymous said...

Are Associated employees in the union? Trader Joe's employees are not, doubt Target employees are. Corporate chains provide limited locally grown food options, with produce pre-packaged in too much plastic. Westside market is great, though farther away. C-Town has a good opportunity to step up their game, but their produce is terrible and there's no deli section. I still miss the small grocery store that was on Ave B between 13th and 14th.

Anonymous said...

Really bad for the many who depend on the market; the employees; and the last vestiges of what was an authentic and non-rich neighborhood.

Really good news for demographic cleansing of Manhattan; luxury real estate; and the affluent young suburban transplants.

Giovanni said...

I like how after years of giving Associated the runaround and refusing to give them a new lease when they thought that Morton Williams was moving in that StuyTown management is now spinning the story to make it look like they have done everything they possibly can to keep a retailer that many of their tenants — especially families and seniors — value and do not want to see replaced by a more expensive grocery or another gym. Recall that years ago there was a supermarket on 20th Street in StuyTown that they replaced with a gym, much to the dismay of their tenants. I guess they just don't want their tenants to have the same easy access to grocery stores that most other New Yorkers enjoy.

In other supermarket news, The Gristedes on 1st Avenue and 20th St is rebranding and turning into a D’Agostinos. The two chains have the same owner: billionaire John Catsimatidis, the former mayoral candidate and NYU dropout who thinks there are too many Asians at NYU, who used to support Bill Clinton and is now an avid Trump supporter and right wing radio talk show host. I guess they finally figured out they needed a more upscale brand than Gristedes justify the sky high prices in that downscale grocery store.

Meanwhile, Catsimatidis, a Greek immigrant himself, wants Trump the build the wall, which of course won’t prevent any more Greek immigrants from coming to our shores, many of whom work here illegally for 90 days and then return to Greece for a “vacation”, only to return to their jobs at Greek diners and restaurants a few months later on another tourist visa. And from what I understand, Greece is not sending us their best people, although their feta cheese is pretty good.

blue glass said...

this is awful
some time ago neighborhood folks saved the former met supermarket on second avenue (7-8 streets) from an NYU eviction.
i'm not sure that is possible these days.
this will be awful for many residents, especially seniors and the disabled.

while there are many negataives to asssociated, the positives outweigh them 100 to one

Anonymous said...

I love how Giovanni can manage to turn this thread into a rant against Trump. Can I remind you that it was Nixon who took us off the gold standard, not Trump, and it was Clinton who deregulated the banks.

afbp said...

having-said-that------bank deregulation/gold standard are (at the very least) fairly complex issues---being a LIAR/MISOGYNIST/RACIST/PSYCHOPATH/THIEF/ADULTERER----are NOT!

Dametrius said...

Giovanni, why the anti-Greek rant? I could go on forever about Italians if I were pushed any further!

32yearsanEVresident said...

why everyone doesn't do their food shopping in Chinatown I have no idea. The large markets there have a good variety of produce and protein as well as household items and It is literally 50% of the costs at most stores above Canal street.

Giovanni said...

To be clear, there was nothing anti-Greek at all about that statement. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of people like John Catsimatidis who support building a wall to keep out Latin American immigrants while ignoring all the visa overstays by Europeans and others.

The point was that John Catsimatidis supports building a wall while plenty of immigrants come here by air and work illegally, and that includes Italians as well as people from many other countries. I debate with my Greek friends about this all the time as many are Trump supporters. They don't seem to realize how hypocritical their views are even as they hire family members and others who don't have legal status to work. If you're going to support ICE raids and barriers to entry for one group then you should support them for all.

Catsimatidis was an immigrant himself, is living the American dream, and now he wants to keep other immigrants out by is using his wealth to build a wall while the US is detaining mothers and children in cages. Meanwhile, he gouges grocery shoppers with his high prices, using the profits to support his hypocrisy. It’s like the old joke: How do you keep minorities out of a country club? Let one in.

@32yearsanEVresident. I have been buying my produce on Canal Street lately, and you’re right its much fresher and cheaper than the supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid to admit how I avoided this store like the plague. It always seemed unkept and dirty not to mention the limited amount of fresh produce and fruit it offered. The customer service was hit and miss. And now with the impending arrival of TJ, there was no way this spot was going to be sustained in our financial climate. My best to the staff. Hope they are able to secure gainful employment elsewhere.

XTC said...

Complete nonsense by Giovanni that Euros are somehow given a free pass to work and live in the US while others are not. I've had several friends, all white, who had faced serious consequences due to visa and work issues. One an an Australian guy went to immigration jail for several months, another was a Dutch lady who was banned for entering the US for 5 years for doing part time art modeling, and recently an Italian lady who would have been banned but got married to an American guy weeks before she would have had to go back to Italy for good. (She had full time, legit employment as well). Bottom people sneak in and game the system, but if you get caught you get sent back. Doesn't matter if you're black, brown, white or purple.

afbp said...

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS A CONCERN---BUT---'bottom' is a HUGE RED HERRING---A report released by the Center for Migration Studies of New York finds that from 2016-2017, people who overstayed their visas accounted for 62 percent of the newly undocumented, while 38 percent had crossed a border illegally.

Peachy McPeachface said...

Back on topic... I shop often at Associated, because they have good staples and correct prices, but also because I could catch the M14A home to 9th and change to the crosstown M8,. As a disabled senior, this was a godsend for me with my shopping bags. And now
I can’t because the stupid fucking MTA took away the 14A’s St Marks stop. So Associated going is just one more insult.

deedubya said...

I wonder if there is energy and talent to try to build a cooperative grocery that is owned by the people who would shop at it? Food Cooperative Initiative could be a resource.

Ali Babba said...

Huraaaaaaaaay, good riddance, terrible customer service, cashiers ALWAYS talking and arguing with each other with little regard of the most important factor for their survival, the customer.

Anonymous said...

L Train? Maybe. Seems like it was the last straw. People still need groceries.

But fundamentals of the Associated concept, whether wares or the look of this store, appear long past their sell-by dates. Today, there's no re-branding for aging retail. Hence the death spiral.

Next to follow: familiar brands on the shelves. Even Warren Buffett is getting a lesson there, watching as the demographic skews toward private label, tanking his investment in Kraft Heinz (off by 71 percent from its 2017 peak).

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Target, and perhaps Kroger and Safeway will be left standing, along with niche players like Stew Leonard's and Wegmans — others will have radio programs.