Chelsea’s Pamida discount store to close
Chelsea will lose its only chain discount store when the Nebraska based Pamida Stores closes its long time anchor store in the Chelsea Shopping Center on M 52 south of downtown.
The store will close on Dec. 31.
News of the store closing was announced to employees and some community officials on Thursday, said Bob Pierce, executive director of the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re very saddened to hear that they’re closing,” Pierce said today. “Pamida serves our population very well.”
The store opened in 1993, said Dean Williamson, Pamida’s senior vice president for human resources and general counsel, in an email. For a time the store was among the chain’s most successful.
However, he wrote, “In Chelsea, declining sales caused by a number of factors of business after the fire in 2008 as well as the slow recovery from the economic downturn, to name two continuing operation of the store unviable.”
The chain operates more than 200 stores in 16 states, according to company web information. Locations tend to be in very small towns that are not served by other general discount stores. Other Michigan locations include Brooklyn, Tecumseh, Allegan and Clare.
The chain is closing two other stores at year end, Williamson said: Hayward, Wis., and York, Neb.
Pamida is an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc.
The store reopened in fall 2008 after a fire damaged the mall and about $1 million in inventory about five months earlier.
No signs at the store announced the pending closure as of Monday.
The rebuilding time for the mall probably took “longer than anybody would like,” Pierce said. A few vacant storefronts remain in the center, which is operated by Lars Associates LLC in West Bloomfield.
As Pamida winds down in Chelsea, Pierce said many of the town’s senior citizens would likely miss the store most.
Community based organizations also will feel a void, he added, since Pamida contributed to many of them.
“Pamida has been just a wonderful supporter of this community,” he said. Grants from the Pamida Foundation went to the Chelsea Area Fire Department, Faith in Action and the chamber.
“They are very community oriented,” Pierce said.
He added: “It’s very unfortunate that at this time they’ve chosen to close the store.”
The store employs 17, and some may transfer to the Tecumseh store, Williamson said. All who do not remain with the company will receive severance, he added.
“It a sad occasion any time Pamida exits a community, but we want to thank the people of Chelsea for their support over the years,” Williamson said. “In addition, we like to thank the Pamida teammates for their hard work towards making the Chelsea store successful.
“The store closing is certainly no reflection on their efforts.”
With the VERY lengthy delay re opening after the small fire, residents knew that the store wasn going to be on a priority list with Corporate HQ. Also the smaller and less desirable stock had it own indications. Having Pamida in town was the best store for those of us raising young families and in need of clothing for growing children, last minute school projects, bulk items, holiday shopping and such that DIDN require a twenty plus mile trip East or West. If your family needed better quality dry goods (NOT higher priced fad clothing), then Vogel and Foster was the place to be and we NEVER regretted a purchase there with those items being of high quality and sturdy enough for multiple childrens wearings. Groceries, of course, are at Polly (Country Market), a clean and well stocked store. If your menu needed specialty or gourmet items, then Chelsea Market has what you need or will get it for you. Being a small city (still in it infancy from being a Village) Chelsea is a viable stop on I94 and the crowds in it stores are proof of that. Pamida will be missed and since there is no reason that Corporate HQ would listen to it customers I will set my sights and hopes on another similar type 5 10 store. As for me? When I need anything for the family? I staying in town as long as I can. Can help you on the ammo, however. “Chelsea is ripe for a market that actually gave a damn, while still charging reasonable prices.” People forget about the New Chelsea Market right in the heart of downtown. Yeah, their prices are higher than what you find at Polly or Meijer, but I can walk there from my house, the store owners know me by name, and also know to do things like set aside six packs of Bell Oracle for me without my asking, and that worth more than any amount of money I might save by shopping at some big box store where the staff couldn care less. Give me an Oreo cookie over some cardboard tasting mini cow dung looking excuse for a Most general grocery stores do carry the same products I hardly believe that Ann Arbor grocery stores have less additives in their Cap Crunch than Pollys does. Polly is clean waaaayyyy cleaner than Meijer on Zeeb. I will NOT buy fresh meats or fish from that place. When you walk by and the fish counter smells like fish it isn good. Fresh fish doesn stink. I seen frozen food and meat found in other aisles at Meijer and watched the store personnel put it right back in the cold case. Sorry not going to buy that stuff, don know how long it sat out. I lived out here for a very long time and I like Polly a lot more than the stores I used to shop at in Ann Arbor and Downriver.
Having lived in Chelsea for 10 years now, I always thought of Pamida as a half stocked Kmart; everything I ever looked for there, they never had. The name of the store sounds like some rare disease. Chelsea suffers dramatically in the retail sector. Polly staff could care less if you shopped there. Every time I ask for help, I am shocked at their dismissal of my interest in purchasing something from their workplace. Yesterday I asked them where they kept apple cider; no answer was offered nor any help to find out. Polly carries far too much junk with unnecessary additives and very little organic food. Chelsea is ripe for a market that actually gave a damn, while still charging reasonable prices. Chelsea needs a place to buy linens, baby clothes, ammo a Meijer maybe, but, please no Malwart. Pamida carried junk with a selection so poor I wouldn waste my time looking for it there. Walmart treats their employees and by extension, their suppliers employees (see Lawnboy)like dirt. I cannot in good conscience ever go in a Walmart again. I would really like to see a return to a decent department store owned by a local, instead of the faceless corporate entity that seeks to suck all our cash into some black hole in Malibu while abusing every tax loophole.
Totally agree with you Tree Town. I wonder why a larger chain can put in an store. Re: Pollys While they don carry as many products as Meijers the prices are still lower for common labels. One of the things I didn like about the Farmer Jack store was the one get one free sales you had to buy TWO items while only paying the price for one that price was still higher than the price for the same product at Polly Not only that Buy one get one free at Polly means if you only buy ONE product you pay half price for that one item. If you really comparing prices product for product Polly is lower. If you want the international foods they don have the selection that Meijer has, I go to Zeeb Rd when I make certain things that require ingredience that Polly doesn carry. Hence, if one were to come here it will be down near 94. Country Market “Polly advantage? They are the only large grocery store in town. What they need is some good competition.
I really can remember exactly how long Pamida has been in that location. I do remember that it was an Ames store prior to being Pamida. I like to see a similar type of store there but with higher quality merchandise and reasonable prices. The thing that used to bother me was that I could go to the Pamida in Clinton and it was bigger and nicer the merchandise was better too. That they didn do the same here in Chelsea may be a reason why they are closing down. As for what should be built here I do NOT want a huge Walmart, K Mart, Meijers. As far as another grocery store don see that happeing either. Farmer Jack came and closed. The prices were waaaayyy higher than the prices at Polly (Country Market). The one good thing about Farmer Jack was that once they moved out Polly moved in. Say what you want but I think the prices and quality at Polly is better than many other stores including places that are supposed to be discounted like Meijers. Plus they are clean.