By Jano Tantongco
Before closing about a month ago, the Pathmark supermarket in the Dix Hills Shopping Center on Old Country Road drew in customers for other businesses that shared the strip mall. Since it closed about a month ago -- the result of its parent company, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., filing for bankruptcy earlier this year -- that fact has never been more clear.
Business at Dix Hills Hot Bagels has taken a big hit since Pathmark closed its doors.
“It’s definitely slowed down ever since Pathmark closed down. Loss of foot traffic… Generally, there’s a slowed down atmosphere in the shopping center,” said Dix Hills Hot Bagels Manager Dennis Motchourad, who noted that the Pathmark had been on a downhill spiral for the past three years, with its customer stream gradually dwindling.
“We’re going to try to do an advertising campaign to show people… that we are located here because we lost tons of traffic,” Motchourad said. “We’re just trying to hold on to the customers we got.”
Rupa Iyer, the manager at Kabs Mart, a general store located in the shopping center, estimates the business has seen a 20 percent drop in sales.
“All the businesses have been affected because normally people come and then shop there, and they come here. It has been slow,” she said. “We hope they open something here… everyone is looking for a supermarket.”
Christopher Cassar, of Greenlawn, who was at Dix Hills Shopping Center Monday, said his parents used to shop at both the Pathmark and also at the former Waldbaum’s in Huntington village, which was acquired by Stop & Shop and recently reopened under that banner. He said the Pathmark closure affected his family, but they have begun using PeaPod, Stop & Shop’s grocery delivery service.
Stop & Shop and a number of other buyers have picked up former Pathmark and Waldbaum’s properties across the New York metro region as part of ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
The future of the Dix Hills Pathmark is uncertain.
According to a local auction service, an auction was scheduled for Dec. 16, where all the equipment within the Dix Hills Pathmark was to be sold. However, a representative from the auctioneer, the Badger Corp., said the auction was cancelled because someone had recently purchased the entire store, assets and all. That information could not be confirmed at deadline.