N&N Market is dead; long live N&N Market
Dillingham's N&N Market will close under Omni ownership Friday, and re-open Saturday under new owners, Choggiung Ltd and Sea Lion Corp.
Update 3/19: New ownership says N&N will likely be closed from Saturday through next Wednesday while they await shipments of new inventory.
DILLINGHAM: Shoppers swarmed the N&N Market grocery store downtown Wednesday after a 50 percent off sale was announced to liquidate remaining inventory.
Deanna Baier was one of the lucky shoppers able to get a shopping cart, which was full of cake ingredients.
"I am stocking up for the 4H baking club," she said. "It's crazy down here. Try to find a parking spot within two city blocks of here. I was amazed I was able to find a cart."
"It's madness, it's crazy," said store manager Sam Gardner. "There are no carts available in the store right now."
N&N’s parent company Omni has been showing signs of financial distress for weeks, and already closed its Bethel grocery store.
On Wednesday it was officially announced that N&N Market will close under Omni, and will reopen under joint ownership of Dillingham’s Choggiung Ltd. and the Sea Lion Corp. of Hooper Bay. The two village corporations are the current owners of the property.
"We'll be taking over on Saturday, March 20," said Dave Cottrell, the president and CEO of a Sea Lion investment subsidiary and now managing member of N&N Market. "N&N Properties LLC will be the operator and the owner of the store."
Between now and Friday's closure, N&N Market is attempting to liquidate as much inventory as possible. New owners Choggiung and Sea Lion will begin restocking immediately, which may take a while to accomplish.
Cottrell believes most employees will be rehired, but warns there could be a lapse in employment.
"Our intent is to rehire all of the necessary employees to run the operation of the store. We'll probably do that over a period of time as we restock the store, and the business comes back to the store," said Cottrell Wednesday.
There isn’t a lot of certainty yet about what Saturday will look like, but N&N store manager Sam Gardner said the store, some employees, and hopefully the customers will still be there.
"We will be open for business as usual Saturday morning at 9 a.m.," said Gardner.
The hours will be reduced for a while, said Gardner. N&N Market will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
According to UCI's Cottrell, the N&N Market "has always made money," and they expect this investment to provide a reasonable rate of return to their shareholders.