The Super 88 Market, a local Asian specialty food chain, is downsizing its operation, shuttering half of its six Boston area stores in the last month.
The grocer, which specializes in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and Southeast Asian goods, closed its Quincy store last Monday, said attorney Glenn Frank, general counsel for Super 88 owners Peter and George Luu. Potential buyers, including another ethnic grocer, are now looking at the property, he said.
Last month, the company sold off its South End store and closed the chain's original location in Chinatown, which opened in 1978, though that property will likely “remain in the family,” said Frank.
Despite the national economic downturn and a highly competitive local field for Asian markets, Super 88 is not in trouble financially, said Frank. The store closures were not a result of overly-aggressive expansion or related to a six-figure fine lodged against the company by the Massachusetts attorney general in late June for violating state prevailing wage laws, he added.
“Super 88 is not only not going anywhere, we’re thriving,” said Frank. The Quincy, South End and Chinatown markets, all 12,000 feet or smaller, did not perform as well as expected and were too costly “to justify their existence,” said Frank.
Some workers have been reassigned while others were laid off, he said.
(By Christina Pazzanese, Globe correspondent)