A Piggly Wiggly store in Northeast Richland will close in the next couple of weeks as the grocery chain’s presence diminishes in the Columbia market, a spokesman confirmed Monday.
The grocery store at 2000 Clemson Road, at its intersection with Hardscrabble Road, is set to close in early April, said Christopher Ibsen, spokesman for the Charleston-based Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. franchise.
About 37 employees will lose their jobs.
The chain has about half the number of Midlands stores now as it did a year ago. The company has been selling off stores in recent years as it fights falling sales. Last fall, Piggly Wiggly sold 22 stores in South Carolina and coastal Georgia to Bi-Lo and seven outlets to Harris Teeter.
Ibsen said Piggly Wiggly made a business decision to close the Clemson Road store. He said other Piggly Wiggly stores in the Midlands will remain open, including on Devine Street in the downtown area, on South Lake Drive in Lexington, and on West Beltline Boulevard and North Main Street in Columbia.
In the Columbia market, the chain has closed stores in the past year on Garners Ferry Road and U.S. 1 in West Columbia. Piggly Wiggly stores on Forest Drive in Forest Acres and on U.S. 378 in Lexington were closed in November and reopened as Bi-Lo stores.
In the Northeast area, an older Food Lion closed in the shopping center across Hardscrabble Road from Piggly Wiggly about four years ago. However, Food Lion replaced that outlet with a modern, energy-efficient store about a mile away, at the entrance to The Summit neighborhood, near a Publix supermarket. A Super Bi-Lo grocery store sits at the other end of The Summit in the Village at Sandhill.