After 70 years, Western Supermarkets is discontinuing operations.
“When I became involved in ownership in 1987”, owner Ken Hubbard said, “our goal was to maintain Western as Birmingham’s leading independent grocer. With the help of the loyal and talented people on the Western team, we’ve achieved that goal. We’ve taken Western as far as we can. It’s time to exit the business that has been my life’s work.”
The Birmingham-area grocery chain currently operates 4 stores. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, Inc. has agreed to buy the Lane Parke store in Mountain Brook and the Rocky Ridge store in Vestavia Hills. The Highland Avenue Western Market is destined for redevelopment and will close the doors in the weeks to come.
The Village Market in the East Lake area of Birmingham, which Western also owns, is for sale.
The more than 200 Western Market employees have been informed of the closures and encouraged to seek employment with Publix. “Many of our employees have worked at Western their entire careers. Treating them fairly, giving them plenty of notice, and helping them find employment is now our mission”, said Hubbard. “I am committed to that.”
Watch for our huge Inventory Liquidation Sale. Starting January 9th, all wine inventory will be priced at 20% off retail. The remaining inventory liquidation will begin January 30th.
Many in Birmingham have worked at Western. “It is astounding how many people – doctors, lawyers, business-leaders, and the current mayor of Birmingham had their first job at Western”, said Hubbard, who began with the company as a bagger in 1960.
“Our people made Western a special place for our customers. They will continue to provide that same level of service, wherever they work.”