Stop & Shop is acquiring King Kullen, the Bethpage-based grocery chain recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as America’s first supermarket.
The deal includes all 32 King Kullen stores and 5 Wild by Nature stores currently operating on Long Island, as well as the company’s Bethpage headquarters.
Jennifer Brogan, community relations director for Stop & Shop, says the company has not yet decided if it will continue to operate King Kullen and Wild by Nature stores under those banners, or whether any locations would be shuttered as a result of the acquisition. The company also said it was too early to comment on the job status of current King Kullen employees.
“We will be evaluating stores and making those decisions in the near future,” Brogan told The Long Island Times in response to questions about employees and store closings. “With regard to associates, it’s too early to speculate with regard to individual associate decisions. However, Stop & Shop is committed to retaining as many associates as possible through this transaction.”
With over 3,300 employees, King Kullen has been one of Long Island’s largest employers, according to the Long Island Association. Many of those positions are union jobs.
Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen, expressed his gratitude for the Long Island community and its support throughout the company’s history of nearly 90 years.
“As a family-owned and operated business, we are very proud of our heritage and extremely grateful to all of our associates and customers for their support over the years.” Cullen said in a statement. “We are confident the Stop & Shop brand will carry on our legacy of service in the region.”
The acquisition is expected to close before the end of March 2019.