Rockville Giant to close August 16 -- Gazette.Net


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The Giant grocery store at 2401 Wootton Pkwy., in Rockville, will close its doors for the last time at 6 p.m. Aug. 16, leaving city officials and some residents hoping for a replacement.

Giant announced its decision to close the store in Rockshire Village Center July 13. The company doesn’t release specific store sales information, said corporation spokesperson Jamie Miller in an email.

There is little that the City of Rockville can do to prevent the closure, said Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, who has received calls and emails from residents sad to see the store go.

“We certainly have made inquiries and hope that the owner [of the shopping center] will find another grocery store,” she said. “I think it's going to be hardship for a lot of folks who have gotten used to having a close-by grocery.”

H&R Retail is marketing the space, which is approximately 38,400 square feet. H&R Retail officials did not return calls for comment.

For many senior citizens living in the nearby Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Home for the Elderly, the walk to Giant was part of a daily routine, said Pastor Anita Varsbergs-Paza.

The store provided independence for seniors who couldn’t drive, she said.

Some customers stopped patronizing the Giant because service was slow and the store had not been remodeled, said John Clemens, 68, who lives two blocks from the store. Still, the neighborhood is losing a valuable amenity, he said.

“If we had a snow storm and I didn’t feel like shoveling my driveway, I could walk to the Giant [instead of driving],” he said. “Now, any and all senior citizens who don’t have access to automobiles, they’re stuck.”

The store employs 52 people, all of whom were given the opportunity to transfer to other Giant locations, according to a press release from Giant Food.

Pharmacy customers will be notified by mail in advance of the closing, with details about pharmacy record transfers. Prescription records will be transferred to the Giant at 9719 Traville Gateway Drive, in Rockville.

jablamsky@gazette.net