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Grand Union grocery store closing; locals have mixed feelings

By Tyler Morrissey
On November 26, 2012

Citizens and business owners in Mansfield had mixed reactions regarding the closing of the supermarket chain Grand Union, located at the intersection of Middle Turnpike and Rt. 195.
After many years of serving the town, Grand Union will be closing its doors forever, as the store is in the midst of a going-out-of-business sale. One of the areas that will be most effected by the store closing will be the Jenson Trailer park Community, located across the street from Grand Union.
According to Irene Dube, a resident of the Jenson Community, Grand Union served many senior citizens in the area and the store's closing will leave a void in their community.
"It will be missed quite a bit, there's a lot of seniors in this community," said Dube. "The seniors really counted on that so they didn't have to travel that far, they were very friendly down there and knew people by name. They really need a grocery store at the four corners, it really is a necessity."
Senior citizens in the Jenson Community are will also miss the convenience of having a grocery store so close to home. Residents will soon have the option to shop at the new Price Chopper expected to open in the Storrs Center sometime late next year.
Beatrice Howard, a Jenson resident will miss the competitive prices that Grand Union had to offer.
"It was very convenient and, above all, we will miss that," said Howard. "I think the prices were as reasonable as Big Y and I think Price Chopper is about the same as the Big Y in Vernon."
Local businesses in the area have a different sentiment regarding Grand Union's closing. The closing of the grocery store means more customers for businesses in the surrounding area. Husky Grab and Go Convenience Store Owner Gias Ahamad expects more business from E.O. Smith and UConn students once his store opens for business.
"My target market is students from the high school and students living in the area," said Ahamad.
After facing competition from other supermarket chains, Grand Union filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s. Since then, the company liquidated 200 of its stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers out of Keene, N.H.

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