Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DeLano's closing in Tiburon and Mill Valley

The Delano's grocery chain, which has struggled to maintain market share in the face of new competition and declining consumer spending, has folded. The two Southern Marin stores, at Tamalpais Junction, Mill Valley and The Cove, Tiburon, are expected to close in December. As reported today in the IJ, it looks like the Fairfax store will remain open but will drop the DeLano's name. The chain's three San Francisco stores are also closing.

DeLano's presence in Marin began in 2006, when they took over five Bell Markets. Poor performance led to the closure of the DeLano's market in downtown Tiburon in February 2009, and the store in Novato closed the following August.

The two Southern Marin stores have likely seen a sales decline following the opening of Whole Foods at the Alto Center in Mill Valley.  The Fairfax store benefits from little local competition, although that would change if a market is found by the new owners of the Fair-Anselm Plaza.

So what now for the closed stores? According to Fresh & Easy Buzz, There are a few small-format grocers currently looking to expand in Northern California, including Fresh & Easy, Henry's Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. Any of these would be good new additions to Marin County. Local grocer Mollie Stones may also be interested, although the Southern Marin sites may be considered too close to Mollie's existing stores in Sausalito and the Bon Air Center.

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