Riesbeck’s to close Wintersville location

CLOSING SHOP — Rumors have been circulating for months about the fate of the Wintersville Riesbeck’s food store. Riesbeck Food Markets Inc. officials put those speculations to rest, Wednesday, when they announced the official closing date of the store is Sept. 15. -- Amy Neeley

WINTERSVILLE — The rumors have been circulating for months now, and Riesbeck Food Markets Inc. officials have announced the official closing date of the Wintersville store it has operated for the past 15 years.

Per Peter Riesbeck, director of human resources, the store will close its doors for good following regular business hours on Sept. 15.

The store’s pharmacy unexpectedly closed on Aug. 13.

Company President Richard Riesbeck on Wednesday cited economic factors as the basis for the decision.

“Our store facility in Wintersville has become quite tired and outdated over the years. The level of capital investment required to make the store a viable food shopping facility is substantially greater than we can justify. Rather than renew our lease, we are leaving the location in order to focus on our other nearby stores.”

The company continues to operate stores in Toronto and Follansbee.

Peter Riesbeck said the company started notifying its approximately 60 employees three weeks ago.

He stated the company is moving as many employees as possible to new positions at the others stores.

“A larger percentage on the employees will be in new roles in the smaller stores,” he said.

As for those not being transferred in the initial closing, Peter Riesbeck, stated that a list of all displaced employees is being created and as new positions become available, the company will notify those employees before publicly posting any positions.

As for any rumors circling around the smaller stores, Peter Riesbeck, said they are just that.

“We look forward to servicing the community at these locations for years to come,” he said.

Peter Riesbeck said closing the Wintersville store wasn’t an easy decision but one that had to be done.

“The store was getting run down and just not up to our standards,” he said. “The outpouring from employees and customers has been overwhelming. It’s really touching.