GLENS FALLS — The Glens Falls Food Co-Op will close its retail store at Empire Theatre Plaza on South Street on Aug. 31.
“Unfortunately, at this time we’re unable to keep the hours necessary to sustain a grocery store,” the management announced in an email to members on Saturday.
The co-op has about 350 members, up from 200 in April.
But the inability to recruit and train sufficient volunteers made running the store difficult. Without consistent hours, the store couldn’t build the volume of customers necessary to support itself, said Will Siegel-Sawma, the co-op treasurer and systems coordinator.
The store struggled to make enough money to stock its shelves.
The co-op will be open, as volunteers are available, through the end of the month to sell off remaining inventory.
Regular volunteers had dropped off from about 20 when the co-op opened at its South Street location in February 2016 to five in April of this year, and efforts to recruit and train more were unsuccessful.
“The resources available were not sufficient,” he said.
The co-op board made it a point to always operate in the black, he said.
The co-op bought some merchandise wholesale and also had inventory on consignment from local farmers and producers.
The markup on consignment, however, was less than that in merchandise purchased wholesale.
A membership meeting will be held Aug. 22 to discuss options.
“We’re going to have a member meeting and decide what the next iteration of the co-op will be,” said Siegel-Sawma.
When the co-op opened at the South Street location in February 2016, organizers had a goal of filling a niche for a downtown supermarket that city officials and business leaders have said is needed.
Prior to February 2016, the co-op operated in Moreau with limited hours.
Siegel-Sawma said the board appreciates the support from customers, members and vendors.
“We are incredibly grateful for everyone and everything we have been able to do,” he said. “We need to do some soul-searching and come up with a way to do what we do in a way that is sustainable.”