Payless grocery store eyes summer opening

DOWNEY - After months of construction setbacks, Payless Foods, the Hawthorne-based grocery store chain that announced plans this year to open a new store inside the former Vons Market, now estimates the Downey location won't be completed until sometime this summer.According to Dan McDivitt, general manager for Payless Foods, designs for the site have been finalized and renovation has begun inside the 28,000-square-foot building, which was scheduled to open as Payless Foods' eleventh store last month. "We're still on, but we've run into some construction delays that have put us off schedule," said McDivitt. "We ran into some problems...and we're waiting for construction to get underway, but I've been doing this for 37 years. I've never opened one store on schedule ‚àí they've all been delayed." After Vons announced its closure last October, Payless Foods, hoping to expand into the area, bid against nearly a half dozen other grocery store chains, all interested in leasing the vacant building, located at 10001 Paramount Blvd. Upon acquiring the nearly 56-year-old building, Payless Foods promised a brand new store after a thorough renovation to fix much-needed repairs and update the aging facade. McDivitt maintains that despite the delays, the store will still face renovation once construction begins. "We are delayed, but the team is being set up of current employees and new employees from the community," he said. "Right now, they're working on refrigeration and decor. "The whole thing is going to be changed ‚àí we hope the community supports the store once it opens." Founded in 1983 by brothers and business partners, Bijan and Frank Rodd, Payless Foods first opened in the city of Carson, and later spread throughout Los Angeles County. Today, the company has over 700 employees and operates 10 store locations in the cities of El Monte, Carson, Los Angeles, Pacoima, Gardena, Sun Valley, San Fernando, Norwalk and Montebello.

********** Published: May 12, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 4