Business

Closing Silverdale store is on Fred Meyer's list today

"Employees of the Fred Meyer Marketplace in Silverdale were told Feb. 23 that the store might be sold, but workers would be transferred to other sites and would not lose their jobs.The store, open since 1996, has not been profitable, according to Rob Boley, assistant vice president of public relations for Fred Meyer. The firm has sent word to potential buyers that the site is for sale, and a few parties have expressed interest, he said. We have started the wheels rolling to talk to possible buyers, but we have no special agreements in place now, Boley said. We wanted to let employees know in case there were possible shoppers touring the store and to ensure them they'll be taken care of.Each of the 85 employees at the Silverdale Fred Meyer would have the option of transferring to stores in Port Orchard, East Bremerton, Shelton or stores outside the immediate region, such as Seattle or Gig harbor.Fred Meyer is treating us well, so I am comfortable with the decision, said Elly Boni, operations managers and five-year Fred Meyer employee.If the store sells, Boni said she probably will transfer to the Shelton Fred Meyer. She will retain the seniority of her five years at Fred Meyer, but her hours are likely to change depending on what positions are available. She works a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift at the Silverdale store.I'm sure I'll just have to take what's available, she said.She also said she would miss Silverdale.I have become really attached to the community over here and I would miss the co-workers and customers, Boni said.Boley said corporate leaders had been examining three unprofitable stores in the Puget Sound region, one in Kent, one in Roxbury in Seattle and the Silverdale store. All three are Marketplace stores, meaning they sell only groceries, unlike the majority of Fred Meyer stores which also carry clothes, electronics and housewares.Our primary focus has always been the full-line stores with larger designs ... Boley said. Occasionally an opportunity or an existing building lends itself to a smaller store, but we don't go out and build them. The Roxbury and Kent stores have since been sold, and the Silverdale store might be next. However, Boley emphasized, closure is not imminent. The store holds a long-term lease on the property and has no plans to move until a buyer is found. Pacific Northwest Properties of Burlington owns the property at 9551 Ridgetop Blvd.It's very possible that we will be operating there for a long time because we won't leave until somebody else moves in, Boley said. "

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