This Wilson Farms in Peru, along with a store in Plattsburgh, will close at the month’s end due to disappointing sales.
PLATTSBURGH — The Great Recession continues to leave victims in its wake as a pair of area Wilson Farms stores close their doors at the end of the month.
The stores in the towns of Plattsburgh and Peru were apparently doomed by disappointing sales.
The 7-Eleven Corporation purchased the 188 Wilson Farms locations in April of 2011, including other area locations in Keeseville, West Chazy, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Wilmington.
"It is always bad when you lose a business," said Peru Town Supervisor Peter Glushko. "Hopefully someone will come in and open something similar that the residents in Peru would want.
"Hopefully the Wilson Farms people will take care of the workers that were laid off, though I understand they are offering them other positions."
Wilson Farms will be able to provide some employees with jobs at other locations.
The Peru store is located at the intersection of Bear Swamp Road and Route 22. The Plattsburgh Store is located at the intersection of Military Turnpike and Irish Settlement Road.
The first Wilson Farms opened on Englewood Drive in Tonawanda, NY in 1969, named after a farm the company owned in Wilson, NY.
In 1991, the Ahold corporation purchased Tops Markets, LLC, which included Wilson Farms.
Wilson Farms celebrated the opening of its 100th store in 1997, three years later acquiring the Sugarcreek chain of convenience stores, with 87 locations throughout New York.
In 2005, the Buffalo-based Nanula family and the New York City-based equity firm of Bruckman, Rosser, Sherrill and Co. purchased the Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek stores.
Early last year, 7-Eleven agreed to purchase Wilson Farms, a change that was expected to result in the rebranding and franchising of the stores. Wilson Farms’ chain consists of 188 stores in New York state.
7-Eleven made the purchase to increase its presence in the Buffalo and Rochester markets. 7-Eleven, a giant in the convenience retailing industry, operates more than 40,500 locations worldwide.
The Peru and Plattsburgh Wilson Farms stores were nearing the end of their leases and experiencing disappointing sales.
The Peru store is cut off by two other retail stores, with a Mobile on one side, just off the I-87, that features a Dunkin Donuts, Subway and convenience store, and a Stewart's on the other side that Glushko said seems to get the majority of business in town.
"The competition, I guess, just finally did them in."
Losing a business is sad, but it is understandable, given the economy, Glushko said.
"You can understand exactly what is going on with downsizing from corporations," he said. "7-Eleven bought them and there is not much you can do about corporate decisions."
7-Eleven Director of Public Relations Margaret Chabris stressed that rather than wider closings, the corporation is on an accelerated growth plan.
“We expect to add at least 600 new stores this year in the U.S. and Canada through traditional development in markets where we have stores that are doing well, or through acquisitions, as we have recently done in Charlotte, N.C.”