SANATOGA PA – The limited partnership that bought the Sanatoga Thriftway building and adjacent properties in Sanatoga village last December (2014) intends to keep the supermarket open and operating, albeit with a new name and new leadership, its managing partner said Tuesday (Aug. 11, 2015).
R.D. Sharma (“my first name is too long to spell, so I prefer just ‘R.D.’,” he explained), the head of Pottstown Village Holding LP, said he traveled to Pottstown on Saturday, quickly determined he wanted to keep the store running, and brought in a partner and others with supermarket management experience.
So the store that was slated to have been closed today (Wednesday, Aug. 12) by its former owners, the DeLorenzo family, will instead be open for business. Sharma pledges it will be “a store with quality as good or better than what’s there now,” although it will begin as an independent unaffiliated with Thriftway, Shop-N-Bag, or any other franchise.
And, Sharma added, it is hiring employees.
“We wanted to retain the employees already there, but some of them have left or taken other positions. So we put up hiring signs in the window,” Sharma said.
His announcement to other nearby retailers and the media represents a 180-degree turn from the circumstances of last week. That’s when the DeLorenzos, who had opened and operated the Thriftway market 18 years earlier, said they would close the business because of declining traffic, falling revenues and rising costs. Dozens of social media commenters bemoaned the loss of another large community merchant.
“We want to keep the community happy,” Sharma said. “It deserves a full-service market.”
Achieving that goal will take some time, Sharma believes. Besides overcoming the need for trained personnel, the store also must re-supply depleted shelves. To move their remaining stock quickly, the DeLorenzos offered customers 10- and 20-percent price reductions on volume purchases. Some aisles, coolers and freezers have been emptied.
“It will take us at least a week to make connections, talk with suppliers, and re-stock the shelves,” Sharma noted. “Until then, we’ll be operating in a limited capacity. But, no, we’re not going to close.”