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San Miguel Market closing Ceres store
• Officials cite large size and rising costs as reasons
Rancho San Miguel has announced it's closing its Hatch Road store in Ceres. - photo by Jeff Benziger

The announcement by Rancho San Miguel Markets on Monday that it is closing its store at 1611 E. Hatch Road in Ceres not only disappointed customers but city officials as well.

The company issued a press release saying this is the first time in the company’s 24-year history that a decision to close a store has been made.

“We did not make this decision lightly,” said John Quinn, president and CEO of Rancho San Miguel Markets. “Any decision that will adversely impact our employees, and the customers we serve, is never easy to make.  We appreciate all of our employee’s hard work and are making every effort to support them through this transition.”

The closure impacts 61 employees. The market chain said it is committed to working with employees to “determine next steps.”

Rancho San Miguel Markets opened its Ceres store in April 2012 and is approximately 63,000 sq. feet in comparison to the company’s other 20 locations that are between 45,000 to 55,000 sq. feet. 

“The size of the store and overall rising costs made it difficult to achieve profitability,” said Chris Podesto, Executive Director of Marketing.  These factors are what lead to the decision to close the Ceres location.

Rancho San Miguel Markets will continue to serve customer’s in store, online and at their Food 4 Less store in Ceres which is owned by the same parent company, PAQ Inc. 

PAQ Inc. owns and operates 7 Rancho San Miguel Markets, 14 Food 4 Less stores and a self‐distributing warehouse.  The company has about 1,800 employees and is focused on the future. 

Before San Miguel occupied the store Raley’s operated for years before it closed.

City Manager Toby Wells was disappointed by the news. Although the store did not generate much sales tax revenue for the city, the closure will hamper the vibrancy of the Hatch Road corridor. The city is still doing what it can to fill the vacant Kmart building to the west of the Ceres Marketplace Shopping Center.

“We like to see businesses become successful in Ceres,” Wells said. 

He also said it is impossible to speculate what will happen to the building.

“This is not unique to see vacancies,” said Wells. “The world is changing, how people get their groceries, how they shop.”