Gardnerville Scolari’s to close |

Gardnerville Scolari’s to close

The Scolari's sign is reflected in the wet parking lot in this photo taken by employee and Topaz Ranch Estates resident John Flaherty.
John Flaherty | Special to The R-C

A handful of shoppers were in the Gardnerville Scolari’s Food & Drug Company on Friday afternoon, just a few hours after word went out that the 23-year-old store would close.

Store employees were notified Friday morning that the store would close effective Nov. 29. Employees were hugging one another as they absorbed the news.

“After 23 years of operation, the difficult decision to close this store was based on a number of business factors,” according to a statement issued by the Reno-based company. “Store associates will be offered jobs at other Scolari’s locations.”

The arrival of the Gardnerville Walmart was a key factor in the store’s closure, according to Scolari’s spokesman Jim Minor of Minor Advertising.

“With the addition of the fourth retailer down there in January and the soft economy, it just make it difficult to run a profitable operation,” Minor said on Friday. “The lease was coming due, and it made sense not to extend it.”

Opened on July 20, 1990, the store was the second major grocery store to arrive in Gardnerville.

Work on the shopping center started in September 1989.

But the arrival of the Gardnerville Walmart earlier this year raised concerns for the three supermarkets south of town.

Both Raley’s and Smith’s did major remodels in the year running up to the Walmart opening, which occurred in January.

However, Scolari’s did not renovate its store.

At the time, company officials said there wouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction to Walmart’s arrival.

Scolari’s told its customers it was closing the pharmacy last month.

Rumors had been swirling ever since that the store would follow suit.

At the time, Marketing Director Jan Gilbert said the decision was due to competition. While he was referring to the pharmacy, the statement seems to apply to the store as well.

“It was an economic decision we had to make based on a competitive market,” Gilbert said. “One of our competitors is the world’s largest retailer and the other is the nation’s largest supermarket chain. This is a business decision we needed to make.”

Scolari’s is also the location of the Department of Motor Vehicles kiosk that opened in spring 2011.

Scolari’s Food & Drug Company will continue to operate 12 stores, including two Sak N Saves, in Northern Nevada following the closure of the Gardnerville location.