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Henry Willson / Senior Staff Photographer

The popular Associated Supermarket shuttered its windows this week.

Associated Supermarket, a popular Upper West Side store on Amsterdam Avenue and 99th Street, closed this week. Associated opened in 2010 as part of the Columbus Square development—a revitalization of the area from 97th to 100th streets along Columbus and Amsterdam avenues. Many items were on sale, and shelves were half-empty as of last week. The store was then shuttered this week. A clerk at Associated Food Stores headquarters, who was reached by phone Wednesday but declined to give his name, said that the store had closed because the rent was too high. There is another Associated Supermarket on Amsterdam Avenue and 97th Street, which has been in business for many years. The manager of the 97th Street location declined to comment. The market was beloved among neighbors for its lower prices. "I shop there all the time—the prices are excellent, especially compared to stores on Broadway," local Stephanie Tegnazian said. Julius Bryan, who was shopping at the 97th Street location Wednesday afternoon, said the closing was "terrible." "Often their meats were much fresher than here, and their lines weren't as long," Bryan said. "Higher rents—basically that's what's happening throughout the neighborhood." Peter Arndtsen, director of the Columbus/Amsterdam Business Improvement District, which includes the property, said he didn't know the specific details of the closing, but agreed that high rents "are an issue throughout the area." "People are dealing with a down economy and needing to make their rents," Arndtsen said. "In general, we've seen rents rising in the area, but there are new businesses opening here and they're able to make it." "I was really surprised when they opened the second one two blocks away from the second one," Arndtsen said. Residents also thought that the proximity of the two stores may have led to the newer one's closing. "It was strange having it a block and a half away," Upper West Side resident Bob Botfeld said. "They weren't able to get enough business." Botfeld said he liked the large underground section of the store and its wide selection. "It's a real shame for the neighbors," he said. casey.tolan@columbiaspectator.com

Retail closings Associated Supermarket
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