After 64 years, Giant Food is closing its grocery store on First Street in Old Town Alexandria.
The decision to close the 18,000-square-foot location was based largely on the store’s age and space limitations, said Jamie Miller, a spokesman for Giant. The company’s newer stores tend to be between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet.
“It would have been really impractical for us to remodel or even expand that location,” Miller said, adding that the Landover-based company did not foresee closing any other stores in the Washington area.
There are eight other Giant stores within a six-mile radius of the Old Town location, Miller said. A ninth, at Potomac Yards in Alexandria, is scheduled to open this fall.
Additionally, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s also have grocery stores within four blocks of the soon-to-be-defunct Giant.
The influx of grocers such as Whole Foods, Balducci’s, and even Wal-Mart, in recent years has forced the area’s supermarket chains to upgrade existing stores and rethink new ones. The Giant at O Market, for example, which opened in November 2013, sells sushi and allows customers to sip beer or wine as they shop. Other Safeway and Giant stores in the area have been known to carry caviar and pate.
“We made the difficult decision to close the Old Town North location after a thorough review of the operating performance of our stores,” Gordon Reid, president of Giant, said in a statement.
Last year, Giant closed a 27,000-square-foot supermarket in Springfield with plans to nearly-double its size to 51,000 square feet. A spring reopening is planned.
The Old Town Giant will close at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12. All employees have been offered jobs at other Giant locations, Miller said.
Giant operates 169 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District.