After more than 60 years on California’s Central Coast, Scolari’s will be exiting the market and closing its four supermarkets in Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.
“This was a gut-wrenching decision,” said Joey Scolari, co-owner along with his brother Jerry. “The economic downturn hit us hard as far back as 2009, but we put off taking this action as long as we could because of the negative impact on people’s lives.”
Jerry noted that the decision was made even more difficult because “we grew up here and our parents and our sister still live here.
“Our family has been in business here since the late 1940s,” he said. “But there comes a time as a business owner that you have to face the reality of your situation.”
The brothers said their Central Coast stores present significant challenges operationally, being separated from each other by more than 120 miles from the southernmost in Santa Barbara to the northernmost in Paso Robles, and separated from the company’s headquarters in Reno, Nev., by more than 400 miles.
The stores are all different in building size, layout, services offered and competition, requiring a unique marketing plan for each.
“It’s not at all like Northern Nevada, where 10 of our 14 stores are within 15 miles of our headquarters and each other,” said Joey.
“Maintaining operational consistency is difficult because of the geographic separation and reductions in headquarter’s staff that have limited supervisory visits to the stores,” Jerry added. “We have exceptionally hardworking and competent management and staff in the stores, but without regular guidance it’s difficult to maintain your operating standards.”
A specific date for the store closings has not been announced, only that it would likely be within 60 days and would be preceded by an inventory liquidation sale.
Following the closing of the Central Coast stores, the brothers say they will focus their full attention on their remaining 14 stores in Northern Nevada.