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HOWS Market reduced to one remaining store

December 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A grocery store chain with five stores across Southern California has become the latest casualty of the stalled economy. HOWS Markets has made the tough decision to close all but one of its stores.HOWS Markets prides itself on being a small independent supermarket chain. The slumping economy has changed that. The company's flagship store in Pasadena will remain open.

The chain's other stores in Torrance, Granada Hills and Malibu will no longer be HOWS Markets.

"Our first goal was to sell to a union employer," said Mark Oerum, a HOWS partner. "When that wasn't going to work out for the four stores that were left open, we offered them up piecemeal. We found the buyers, Super A, for the Torrance store. We worked a deal with my partner, David Wolff, to buy this store, keep it union. Super A is union. And then sell off the other stores so we could still survive."

The North Hollywood location shut its doors in May, much to the disappointment of former customers who live and work in the surrounding neighborhood.

So what's going to happen to the employees? HOWS Markets owners are working on making sure they still have jobs.

Some employees will be laid off while others have opted to retire.


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