Iconic retailer Benny’s to close by end of year

Benny's store in Groton, Connecticut (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s the store where you can get anything from your first bike to an outdoor grill or Christmas decorations and it will be missed by many.

Groton is one of five Benny’s locations in eastern Connecticut. The family-owned retail chain has a total 31 stores in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts and all will close.

“Oh my god they’re prices are so amazing,” said Bev Porter of Groton. Customer after customer shared the same sentiments outside the Groton store.

bennys 4 Iconic retailer Bennys to close by end of year
Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“It’s our neighborhood store,” said Terri Wimbish of Groton.

“Seemed to be the store that had what you needed,” said Cal Stafford of North Stonington. “You might not find it anywhere else.”

“Rotten,” Porter described how she feels. “I don’t want them to close.”

In addition to Groton, there are stores in Old Saybrook, Killingly, Norwich, and Danielson.

The company is owned by the third generation of the Bromberg family. The first store opened in 1924 by Benjamin Bromberg in Providence, RI.

Current president, Arnold Bromberg, who now runs the chain with his siblings says closing the stores is “… a calculated business decision based on our knowledge of the retail industry and where it is going in the future. That future is not so bright for small, family-owned chains like ours.”

bennys 3 Iconic retailer Bennys to close by end of year
Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“It’s sort of like family when you go hey how ya doin,” said Stafford. “It’s just too bad.”

“One of the managers in there she knows every time I come in ‘we got some new puzzles, Bev,’ She lets me know,” said Porter.

Personal service which may soon be harder to find. The Waterford store closed earlier this summer taking customers by surprise.

“Yeah because it was closer to where I live,” said Julie Creasey-Greer of New London who is disappointed to hear all the stores will be closing. “That’s awful. What are we going to do now?”

bennys 1 Iconic retailer Bennys to close by end of year
Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

Employees may be asking that same question. The 715 employees, more than half of whom are full-time, will be out of work.

“I think that they’re so good at what they do that they’ll go other places and hopefully be respected as much,” said Wimbish.

The stores are expected to close by the end of the year.

 

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