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Reprieve for Stop & Shop grocery in Hempstead

Stop & Shop in Hempstead on March 20.

Stop & Shop in Hempstead on March 20. The agreement applies to Stop & Shops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Stop & Shop has reversed course on its decision to close its Hempstead village grocery store, following objections from community leaders and residents.

In March, the chain said that it would be closing the village store June 15 because it was underperforming. On Friday, however, the company said the Fulton Avenue store would remain open.

“We have had many conversations with our customers, community members and local and state officials over the past two months. And we listened. We understand the important role our Hempstead store plays in the community,” Stop & Shop said in a statement Friday.

The pharmacy and People’s United Bank inside the Fulton Avenue store will remain open, too.

After Stop & Shop announced in March that it would be closing, Deputy State Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) met with store staff, residents, Mayor Don Ryan and other community leaders to discuss their concerns about the store closing, and with Stop & Shop officials to lobby to keep the store open, she said.  

Hooper met with residents at a public meeting Thursday at the Hempstead Public Library to discuss their concerns, and with Stop & Shop executives in her office Friday, she said.

A news release her office issued Friday stated she had “successfully intervened to prevent the withdrawal of Stop & Shop” from the community.

Stop & Shop, in its statement, said, "We would like to thank New York State Assembly Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper for her counsel during the past several weeks." The company also thanked the mayor and other community leaders "for their support."

Ryan could not immediately be reached for comment.

The loss of the store would have created a hardship for some senior citizens and other nearby residents who depend on it, Hooper said Friday afternoon.

“For Stop & Shop to leave, it would become a serious blight to our area. And people were absolutely mortified that this could happen,” she said.

The village has a high poverty rate, 20.3 percent, compared to Nassau County’s rate of 6 percent and New York State’s rate of 15.5 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

About 100 full- and part-time employees work at the Stop & Shop in Hempstead, company spokesman Philip Tracey said.  

The approximately 50,000-square-foot store has been on Fulton Avenue in The Hub Shopping Center since 2001, he said.

Stop & Shop, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, is a regional chain that has 411 stores in five states, including 50 on Long Island. The company is a unit of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, whose other grocery stores include Hannaford and Food Lion.

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