Bel Air's Woodland supermarket will stay open after all, part of what Raley's officials on Friday called a "temporary moratorium" on store closures as it gears for final negotiations with grocery workers.
The supermarket, which anchors the Gibson Plaza shopping center at East Gibson Road and Pioneer Avenue, was slated to close in mid-October along with a Raley's store in Pittsburg.
But officials at Raley's headquarters in West Sacramento said a new lease agreement with landlord Sequoia Management Co., and the success of its new customer loyalty program "Something Extra," have given the supermarket chain needed breathing room.
Raley's "has been able to work out a new lease with its landlord that enables it to keep the store open and maintain its presence in the community," officials said in a statement.
"It's good for our community and good for our tenants," said Sequoia president M.L. Morris. Morris said the lease agreement was finalized Thursday. Morris would not discuss the terms of the deal.
About 70 employees work at the Gibson Plaza location. After news this week of 300 layoffs at Comcast's Natomas call center and the announced closure of south Sacramento's venerable Campbell's Soup plant, word that Bel Air will stay open in Woodland was met with relief.
"This is great news, especially when you look at Comcast and Campbell's Soup," said Steve Roberts, an employment services specialist at Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services.
The Raley's chain has struggled to fight off competition from retailers and other grocery chains and continues to tussle in union negotiations.
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