Wednesday, December 4, 2019

[Updated] The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town closes on Monday

[Photos yesterday by Steven]

Employees at the Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town are telling patrons that this Monday (Dec. 9) is the last day. [Updated: Employees are now saying Wednesday, Dec. 10. Updated 2: The store is closed as of Friday (Dec. 13).]

As one reader told us: "It is starting to look that way, though there is no sign of marked-down merchandise."

There weren't any store closing signs posted as of yesterday here between Avenue A and First Avenue ... though there is a notice that sale items/coupons will be honored at the Associated on Avenue C at Eighth Street...

News of this closure first surfaced in September. The final day was expected to be somewhere at the end of November or early December, per Town & Village.

Longtime store manager Norman Quintanilla told this to T&V in September:

“A lot of people are crying and upset about it,” he said. “It especially affects a lot of elderly customers that we help with phone orders. They don’t know where else to go.”

Quintanilla said that he wasn’t involved in discussions with Associated’s ownership and Blackstone regarding why the store is closing but he said that business has been steadily decreasing every year.

Joseph Falzon, the store’s owner, previously told Crain's that a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half. For starters, construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the supermarket with a 12-foot fence these past two years.

There's also increased competition, including the Target on 14th and A that opened in July 2018 with a large food-and-beverage selection. In addition, the Trader Joe's is expected to open early next year right across 14th Street. (Per the comments in previous posts on this closure, a good number of residents don't find the Target or Trader Joe's to be an adequate replacement for an old-fashioned supermarket.)

In an email in September, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk told residents that they are "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."

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Associated on 14th Street in Stuy Town is said to close by year's end


tom said...

Strange that this locations is not honoring the sales items in its weekly advertisement. I wish that all it took to keep this supermarket here. This place will be missed by many.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, this store is poorly managed and outdated. It just is. Surly customer service. One can't find certain brands here. As a resident, I gladly welcome Trader Joes.

David said...

Agree that it was not the best run store, but the price/quality ration is not bad at all. And I guess I'm also one those people who prefer an old-fashioned supermarket over a Target or Trader Joe's any day.

Anonymous said...

Another neighborhood business gone due to the MTA's (largely unnecessary) 2 1/2 year occupation of our neighborhood. Add this to the 5 businesses across the street that were shuttered too. It should take maybe 6 months, and have little impact, to just install elevators and a stairway. The MTA was playing games, and planning to use Ave A to haul their toxic tunnel debris out, before they were embarrassed by a few professors who figured out how to avoid a tunnel closure when the entire MTA couldn't . That delayed the whole project 1 1/2 year while they killed time waiting for the L-pocalypse. Add to this the ill-planned (in a flood zone and blocking 2 lanes of 14th St) giant substation at Ave B, which was located there to skirt an Environmental Review, and you see Jane Jacobs had it right about these large "visionary" projects destroying neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Associated had major imperfections, but it felt authentic.

We go to Trader Joe's occasionally - there are a few things only found at TJ's. But otherwise, Trader Joe's is a soul-crushing experience - the suburban corporatism, the lines, the incredible amount of packaged food purchased by the NYU etc demographic.
Just another reminder that NYC has been transformed into a fake place.

Target- as a local store - is also suburban and soul-crushing.

BTW elderly shoppers will be run over at Trader Joe's. But maybe that is the actual plan - get rid of longtime residents and take over their apartments.... Demographic cleansing of NYC.

Gojira said...

Sorry, but there are times I want variety, and that can only be provided by a supermarket. TJ is fine for staples, but just as one example, their uninspired collection of non-dairy milks are pathetic. Associated, that "dumpy" store, has coconut, almond, hemp, oat, soy, chocolate and hazelnut. I haven't set foot in Target, won't, and will miss Associated - and their nice delivery guys - very much.

Brian Van said...

People are entitled to their preferences but the "I won't step foot into X" set is more of a radical faction of local shoppers than the average customer perspective about shopping options.

Losing options is never a good thing. But I think most people who have gone grocery shopping in the neighborhood will find other palatable options, including the new D'Agostino that was the old Gristedes on 20th/First (it's a little far for people accustomed to the Associated, but still walkable). I'm sure a fair number of people have already switched to the Target or have found the 14th/3rd TJ's to be more tolerable with shorter lines and better stocking in the past year. Clearly a lot of people stopped going to that Associated in recent months, as this is not a "rent hike" situation.

It sounds like a small slice of people just need something different from what Target or TJ's has to offer, and maybe something will spring up to provide it. I just hope, if anyone decides to start a business to connect Stuy Town customers with new grocery options, they have a good stomach for being yelled at over the phone if anything goes wrong

tom said...

This is not a knock on TJ or Target, it is a fact that they do not have a butcher at their location. So they have to get certain foods from a warehouse, mainly meats chicken and pork. If you do a google search you will find that these air tight packages are sealed with carbon monoxide to make the meat look red, and to keep it fresh. We all know meats hAve a short shelf life. So if you like your meat to be stored in car exhaust enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking forward to TJ's for a while, but it is a shame that the Associated will be gone. TJ's produce is just meh, and while 1/4 of the store is unique, the rest is the same contracted store brand stuff you'd find at Aldi, with a nicer label. Their frozen fruit is affordable and OK for smoothies (but then again, so is what you'll find at the fruit stands, if you're careful and buy/freeze at the right times).

Target is a wasteland of awful food, truly a disappointment. It's barely a shade above 7-11, and they always seem to run out of milk. Their spongy shelf stable bread is the stuff of nightmares. And try finding a container of yogurt that isn't loaded with sugar... and finally, their sales are clearly meant for suburbanites ("buy 10 of these 15 items (of which only 9 are available at the EV location) and get a $10 gift card"), but I guess their beer is cheap, haha.

D'agostino on 20th is really out of my way, but I'm sure I'll end up at Westside on 3rd and 12th now and then. Lovely produce, but everything is overpriced and never on sale; maybe Associated should have copied that business model... I will miss a regular, affordable supermarket within one block of my apartment, and while I'm certain to be a regular at Joe's, I'm also now much more likely to stop at the Hoboken Shop-Rite or North Bergen Walmart when I'm driving back from NJ.

Anonymous said...

This closure marks a real sea change in the neighborhood, I fear. I shopped there for more than 20 years, grown to know the staff well and I will miss them. They are all good, decent people. I know the store itself had a mixed reputation, but the hot food bar was delicious and the prices were fair; in addition, the staff always wrapped up the remaining food and sold it off at half price in the evening. You won't find that happening at Whole Foods. The produce wasn't famously good, but it was a favorite supermarket in the 'hood, and they did a great job in my opinion. You won't find that attentive level of customer service at any of the corp. stores, in fact, those people are more often than not unhelpful. Very, very sorry to see this store closing.

Anonymous said...

I have shopped here for years, but I stopped patronizing this store about a year ago. I got tired of some of the cashiers being mean to people. It’s not okay. Maybe your boss sucks, but no need to take it out on elderly people and other vulnerable customers.

Gojira said...

@Brian Van, I don't shop at Target because I don't need a bunch of made in China crap and dubious "food" products, and because I prefer to shop at local stores. I don't eat pizza from Domino's because Muzzarella, with their far superior product, is just around the corner. I don't patronize the 7-11 on Avenue A because I go to the bodega right next to my building. In my own small way I try to take a stand against the relentless corporatization of the city, the country, the world. I don't ask others to, it's my choice to do so for me. I don't snipe against those who chose to patronize chains, so please allow me the same courtesy when I say I won't.

And your dismissive comment "It sounds like a small slice of people just need something different from what Target or TJ's has to offer" presupposes that every. single. person. who lives in the East Village, no matter their age, is on this blog and expressing opinions. I can pretty much guarantee you that a great many older people, in Stuytown, Peter Cooper Village and the surrounding area, who have come to rely on Associated and its delivery system (which allowed them to call and place orders over the phone fro later delivery, something no other place, not even C-Town, does), are not posting comments here, and will be gutted by its closing.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's customer service is heading the way of Associated's customer service.

Almost everything is peachy and creamy when a new store kid on the block opens, but eventually it succumbs to the negativity and surliness of NYC.

Anonymous said...

Noooooo. You can’t beat a normal traditional grocery store. Gonna miss that $10 rotisserie chicken and sides dinner deal.

Giovanni said...

Sorry, but Trader Joes is the Mount Everest of grocery shopping experiences; You better be in good shape, willing to stand and shuffle for long periods of time, and enjoy standing in long lines that snake through the whole store as desperate shoppers try to grab items from the shelves which are being blocked by other shoppers standing on line. The only reason people put up with this terrible experience is to get cheaper groceries. The other dirty little secret is that almost nobody gets all of their groceries at Trader Joe’s. Most people end up supplementing their shopping with additional trips to other grocery stores.

As for Target, their selection is minimal and their non-sale prices on certain grocery items is already higher that D’Agostinos, which has average prices that can be 25%-50% higher than other chains, and fewer sales. D’Agostinos also has Coinstar machines which charge. 11.9% to turn your coins into paper money, which should be illegal. None of these stores is a good option for most seniors or anyone who enjoys a less competitive shopping experience and a wider selection of affordable groceries.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking. Many of the elderly shoppers can barely make it to the current location. The staff are good, hard working people. They have real variety. I’ve been shopping there for close to 30 years. I’m going to seriously miss the convenience of having a super market so close by. The corporate options are no replacement.

Anonymous said...

Another very good point. I prefer a regular supermarket to TJ’s or Target for this & other reasons people have mentioned. Associateds are usually pretty responsive in terms of stocking particular things people request, in my experience.