Story by Solana Singer
Photo by Zoe Chen
South Pasadena’s Vons location is leaving local shoppers after the recent expiration of its lease. A community staple on Fair Oaks Ave., the grocery store will close on Sunday, Sept. 17.
“There’s quite a bit of change happening in [the Vons complex], as the owner is investing in that property and ushering in some new tenants,” South Pasadena Deputy City Manager Domenica Megerdichian said.
Vons’ closure follows a chain of shutdowns of several other businesses in its lot. Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt, Baja Fresh, and Grassroots have all been boarded up.
The closure has been in the works for the past several years but was postponed due to Paviollion’s renovation across the street. The slightly more upscale Pavilions, owned by the same parent company as Vons, will remain open.
“As I understand it, [Vons is] working with [its] current employees to transition them to other nearby stores,” Megerdichian said. “That’s always a consideration for us, making sure that they’re working with the local workforce development board and working with the state and helping to transition employees, because a lot of times, employees are part of our community.”
SPHS student body responses to the closure have expressed a range of opinions. Replacement tenants for the Vons space have not yet been announced, although there have been rumors of an Amazon Fresh or a second Trader Joe’s. Currently, neither of these theories are supported by public information. It is speculated that if Trader Joe’s replaces Vons, its original location will close.
“I am outraged,” senior Charlotte Dekle said. “I am outraged beyond belief. When I tell you that…the Trader Joe’s that’s by my house is my lifeblood, I mean it. And now it’s going to be moving slightly further away. Like, how am I going to go on?”
Vons has offered liquidation sales to generate revenue before departing the community in its final days serving the residents of South Pasadena. Over the past few weeks, its shelves have been rapidly emptying.
“I think it’s kind of silly that there’s going to be another Trader Joe’s,” senior Lillian Sherman said. “We don’t need an enormous Trader Joe’s. We already have one. I know it’s crowded, but get over it. I’d much rather have a closer H Mart or a 99 Ranch Market. That’d be a lot cooler…it’s like having three Starbucks in the same town…it’s ridiculous.”
Megerdichian confirmed multiple new tenants will be moving into the complex. However, no names have been made public yet. Stationed conveniently in the heart of South Pasadena, any brand lined up to inherit Vons’ favorable location will likely prosper.