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Hazlet Foodtown Will Close Feb. 25

Competition and the bad economy are to blame, says the company president.

The Hazlet Foodtown supermarket on Route 35 will close for business on Feb. 25, said Food Circus President Louis Scaduto.

The supermarket, one of 10 Foodtown stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties operated by the Azzolina and Scaduto families, opened in 2009. Seventy-five employees are employed there. Those that cannot be employed in other stores will be laid off, he said.

Intense competition and the downturn in the economy are blamed for the failure of the store to thrive. "There's clearly a saturation of retailers in that area," said Scaduto. "Unfortunately it did not work out." Foodtown is located on Route 35 and Hazlet Avenue, next to Staples. There are several grocery stores within a mile or so, including Pathmark, Aldi, Costco and Stop & Shop.

In April, Holmdel's Top Tomato closed its doors in the Holmdel Commons on Route 35, citing the same reasons. (See story on Holmdel Patch.)

Although the store was not as large as its competitors', shoppers appreciated the conveniences, such as a dairy case at the entrance, the short distance from the parking lot to front door, and cashiers who came out from behind their registers to signal they were open and available.

Scaduto said that any stock left over on the last day of business, excluding perishables, will be transferred to other Foodtown locations.

On Thursday evening, Marilyn Ettinger of Matawan was bringing her groceries to her car. She was stunned to hear the store was closing. Foodtown is her favorite supermarket, she said. "It's manageable. I can always find what I want. It's small and convenient." She appreciated the parking situation. "It's never difficult getting a spot."

Robert Meehan of Hazlet was picking up bread, cold cuts and cigarettes. The news the store was closing did not surprise him, he said. "I don't see many people in there, he said. "I don't even see why they opened it up, we got everything all around here -- Pathmark, Shoprite, Stop & Shop. "When you got to compete with stores like Costco, it doesn't work," he said. 

cathy callamaras January 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I am so sorry that this store is closing. The personnel at this Foodtown were so helpful, pleasant and accomodating to everyone. It was always kept clean and I always found it to be well stocked, (found everything I wanted). Sorry to see it go. Good luck to all employees. A loyal customer.
bud January 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Just heard today that Shop Rite will take over the Hazlet Foodtown. I cannot confirm this, but the source works in the industry. Does not seem to make sense to me, but Shop Rite is the most successful of the area food retailers. Please confirm if you can.
EDWARD L. VENDETTI January 19, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I hate to see people loose their jobs but we all have to thank the Azzolina and Scaduto families for this. The prices they charge in this Foodtown are so high. I went in once and soon left. I am sure most others feel the same way. The president blames competition and the economy but fails to admit they are crooks and are out for the almighty buck. Maybe if they had lowered their prices there would be no competion. Oh and yes I also did hear Shoprite was moving in, bad idea. Something other than a food chain needs to go in here, maybe a Target or Home Goods. Good day everyone....
Jeff February 24, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Foodtown down there is over priced? really? i live in Middlesex and they never used to be that way. They had some nice stores up here in Woodbridge that were eventually replaced by Walmart and Home Depot. There is only a small Foodtown now in Colonia. They should come to Metuchen; we need a grocery store! [hint, hint!] the old Stop & Shop closed and went out to the highway, so the space is available! Too many mega stores; but all the smaller ones are closing (like Acme) and even some of the larger ones (A&P and Stop & Shop). Walmart is killing everyone and now they are going to expand into groceries big time in NJ.
Paul M May 02, 2012 at 10:21 PM
They killed Service Merchandise for this? Stupidest thing to happen since they closed the Acme in Marlboro saying it was "too close" to the Acme in Lincroft and Freehold. Really?

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