Groceries have been sold at the corner of Shorter Avenue and Division Street for 63 years, most of that time as Piggly Wiggly, most recently as the West Rome IGA, 610 Shorter Avenue.
That ended Saturday night when the doors were closed and locked at 7 p.m.
General Manager Derrick McClinic said that employees were not made aware of the closing until minutes before the doors were shuttered. McClinic and 17 other employees were let go.
McClinic said that business had fallen off significantly in recent months. Jason Greenawalt in the City Clerk’s office said ownership did not renew beer and wine package licenses at the start of the year and had not purchased their business license for 2018 yet.
Marc Shiflett, now a partner at the City Creamery on Broad Street, worked at the Piggly Wiggly for close to 20 years. He was a former manager of the store and said he believes Sunday was the first time the store had been closed, other than for a snow event, in 63 years.
Shiflett said the original store was built in 1955 by Ed Salmon and was located up closer to the intersection of Division Street and Shorter Avenue.
The original store remained open while the current strip shopping center was being built behind it in the mid 1980s. When the current location was ready to open, the old store shut down and a seamless overnight move was made to the new store.
The grocery store at that location changed hands several times with the most recent transaction within the past two years.