WHITEFIELD — On Wednesday, for the second time in two weeks, a grocery store in the North Country has announced that it is closing.
Two well-known businesses in the Androscoggin River Valley — Citizens Bank in Berlin and the…
Signs on the doors of Mac’s Market at 21 Jefferson Road announced that the store, as of 9 a.m., was having a 20%-off “Store Closing Sale.”
All purchases are final, the sign said, but few other details about the circumstances of the closing were shared with shoppers and the public.
When asked about the closing, a manager directed inquiries to Mac’s parent company — Sherman V. Allen Inc./Mac’s Markets, based in Rutland, Vt. — but a message seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Mac’s also operates a store in Franconia. An employee there said that that branch is not closing.
The Whitefield Mac’s was popular with locals and visitors alike, with a deli and hot meals available at lunchtime.
With the store’s closure, shoppers will have to travel west to Littleton or north to Lancaster for groceries.
“It’s too bad,” said a woman carrying two bags of items as she watched a reporter take pictures of the store.
A day earlier, the Save A Lot food store in Gorham wound down its own closing sale and closed its doors for good.
The successor of an IGA, and then a Butson’s Supermarket before Shaw’s acquired Butson’s in 2003, the Save A Lot, said owner John Hammontree, was the victim of several years of softening sales and increasing expenses, the timing of which just happened to coincide with the expiration of his lease.
Food shoppers in the Androscoggin River Valley now have two choices in the area: the Walmart Supercenter in Gorham and the Berlin Marketplace.
Citizens Bank also recently announced it would close its branch in downtown Berlin by Nov. 20.
Located on Pleasant Street in the heart of downtown Berlin, the Citizens Bank has operated there since 1990. While customers will still have access to an ATM on the site and will also be able to do a variety of online and mobile banking, the closest banking involving another human being is in Colebrook, North Conway and Lincoln.
“Whenever there are closures it is concerning for two reasons: loss of jobs in an economically challenged rural area, and the impact those closures have on the accessibility of the service,” said Jeanne Robillard, chief executive officer, Tri-County Community Action Programs, Inc. “With limited transportation options for many of our clientele, particularly our senior population, and on-going food insecurity in rural areas, it is especially unfortunate to lose two community-based grocery stores.”