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Copps grocery store on Whitney Way to close

Copps grocery store on Whitney Way to close

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Copps on Whitney Way closing

Roundy's announced Tuesday that the Copps grocery store, 620 S. Whitney Way, will close, likely by the middle of May.

The Copps grocery store brand in Madison is going away along with one of its stores.

Roundy’s announced Tuesday that it will close its Copps grocery store at 620 S. Whitney Way, a move that will bring to an end the Copps brand in Madison as other Copps stores in Dane County have been converted to Pick’n Save stores.

Jim Hyland, a spokesman for Roundy’s, said the store, with 76 employees, is expected to close by mid-May but that over 95 percent of those employees have accepted positions at other Pick’n Save stores in the Madison area.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step and is based on financial results and the level of consumer demand in the market,” Hyland wrote in an e-mail. “After careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of the Whitney Way Copps store, our efforts did not bring about the results needed to meet our business goals and objectives.”

Kroger, one of the largest grocery operators in the country, purchased Milwaukee-based Roundy’s in 2016 and over the last year has converted most of the Copps stores in the state to Pick’n Save stores. After the Madison Copps store closes, Roundy’s will have Copps stores in Antigo, Manitowoc, Phillips, Plover, Stevens Point, Wautoma and Wisconsin Rapids. No announcement on the future of those seven stores has been announced, and Hyland said the company does not comment on questions relating to stores opening and closing.

Roundy’s, founded in 1872 in Milwaukee, has nearly $4 billion in sales, employs more than 22,000 people and has 120 stores in Wisconsin. In 2001, Roundy’s purchased 22 stores from Stevens Point-based Copps Corp., with that name becoming one of the main grocery brands in the Madison market.

But since that time the Madison-area grocery market has evolved into one of the most competitive in the Midwest with the arrival of Festival, Fresh Madison Market, a second Metcalfe’s Market, Trader Joe’s, two Costco stores and the addition of large grocery sections to Wal-Mart and Target stores. Woodman’s also added a store in Sun Prairie, and Willy Street Co-op opened stores in Middleton and on Madison’s North Side. The arrival of three Hy-Vee stores, including one in 2013 across the street from the Whitney Way Copps, likely played a major role in reduced sales at the Copps store.

The announcement to close the Whitney Way Copps comes after work has begun to convert the Copps store at 1312 S. Park St. to a Pick’n Save. Roundy’s announced last week that the store would undergo a “mini remodel.” The four- to six-week project includes an update to the product mix that will add 1,000 new items, including more natural foods, a doubling of the size of the liquor department, and a cosmetic refresh. At the time, the company declined to comment on the future of the Whitney Way store.

After the South Park Street store is converted and the Whitney Way store is closed, Roundy’s will have 13 Pick’n Save stores in Dane County and a Metro Market at 6010 Cottage Grove Road.

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