Spencer’s Fresh Markets closing San Luis Obispo store

December 16, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpencer’s Fresh Markets announced Monday it plans to close its store in San Luis Obispo, citing an expiring lease as the reason.

Spencer Markets lease with Laguna Village Shopping Center ends Jan. 31, 2014, John Spencer said. Spencer is offering all his San Luis Obispo employees jobs at his other stores in Morro Bay and Santa Maria.

“In the meantime, it is important to let everyone know that we are fully stocked and all of our employees look forward to continuing to serve our customers through this Christmas and New Year holiday season,” Spencer said.

Spencer has considered opening other locations in both San Luis Obispo county and northern Santa Barbara county but has no expansion announcement to make at this time.

Randy Poltl, the property manager of Laguna Village Shopping Center, announced that “Grocery Outlet – Bargain Market” will become the new grocery anchor of Laguna Village Shopping Center. Grocery Outlet is a third-generation family run business, recognized as the nation’s largest grocery “extreme value” retailer. The chain has an older store in Santa Maria and two new Central Coast stores – Atascadero, opened in 2011, and Lompoc, opened in 2012.

Grocery Outlet is scheduled to open in August 2014 following the completion of the final phase of the Laguna Village Shopping Center remodel that will include new street signage, additional landscaping, parking lot repairs and the remodel of the interior and exterior of the Grocery Outlet building.

The Spencer’s building will be subdivided into two spaces – 20,000 square feet for Grocery Outlet and 13,000 square feet for a second new tenant under negotiation, Poltl said




  1. r0y says:

    This news is about the worst I’ve heard this month. I really love shopping at the SLO Spencer’s. It was my regular market and my family/friends and I got addicted to their standing rib roast (I make them for Thanksgiving/Christmas). Very decent meat, and often at excellent price ($7/lb).

    They also brought in some fancy sodas and non-alcoholic drinks, which was always a joy to try one while shopping (yes, I paid for the “empty” when I got to the checkout). They also had a lot of local products, including Cal Poly’s over-priced but very delicious dairy products.

    I really hope they look to come back to SLO… though, I am not sure the rents here are conducive to smaller businesses. :(

    This really just bums me out, man!

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. fishing village says:

    there are so many choices , the dollar store, bread for a $, and ice cream at Albertson’s reasonably priced, TJs for all sorts of interesting foods, Costco for volume and lots of different things. Walmart also has so many ‘basic’ products, you can’t beat the price of. Stores just need a gimmick these days.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. SLO_Johnny says:

    I tried Spencer’s several times but I was never impressed. Food 4 Less has better prices and their meat and produce is about equal quality. Small markets like Spencers can’t compete in most areas because of the advantages that larger integrated companies have.

    (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      No way! Food 4 Less is “about equal quality” with Spencer’s? I’ve often found some of the best quality produce at Spencer’s, and when they brought up their younger butcher (got rid of the middle-aged one) the meat department improved greatly, almost to Vons’ level (the only thing worth going to Vons for).

      Food 4 Less is more like “you better check that expiration date” kind of market.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. SLOthinker says:

    Not happy to see it go, but I have to be honest and say it was not my favorite store. I’m in MB a lot and I like the store there. I would go out of my way to swing by before going back to SLO.

    I was excited when it went in after Albertsons closing, especially with the loss of Scolari’s. But there was always something not quite right with the store, could never put my finger on it.

    I truly hope this was isolated to just this store.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  5. Structure says:

    The new economy: “extreme discount” and “Whole Foods (New Frontiers)” The middle got eaten.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      It works well, the new widely divergent strata of stores available. With the middle class sinking into poverty and the rich getting richer, at least we won’t have to mingle with the upper crust and feel bad about what could have been.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Spencer’s and William Bro’s are representative of what small town America should be. How sad it is to have see them go. I guess it’s the Wal-Mart mind set that is forging the trail these days…a sad day indeed.
    I hope the Morro Bay store will remain open…It’s what little we have left.

    (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
    • Kalalau says:

      I really love our local Spencer’s in Morro Bay! GREAT meat department….nice produce, deals at times in other departments…great friendly staff…..free coffee! Smiles abound!
      Welcome farmer’s market in their parking lot weekly….

      (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down
      • Rambunctious says:

        Friendly staff??? try ordering a sandwich from the deli.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  7. fishing village says:

    Spencer’s in Morro Bay is a terrific neighborhood store. Jim always lets everyone who asks sit at a table in front and offer whatever they want for sale (cookies for fundraisers for the children_ , It is fun to be there during Farmer’s Market.

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • Kalalau says:

      I agree…our Morro Bay Spencer’s is a really good neighborhood store! They welcome our Farmer’s Market on Thursday. They have a WONDERFUL meat/butcher department. The fellows in the meat department are always willing to give advice….find what you wish for….and make sure you have a quality cut of meat. THAT is hard to find in other stores these days. The staff throughout are friendly and helpful. The store itself has a really good feeling, And as a retrospect…they had Pastor Doug (now sadly deceased) on staff giving taste treats and recipes on Thursdays of past. This is a store with HEART….and the grocery business is tough these days. This is a GREAT store and I hope they can continue…..
      I think the San Luis location was a tough one…..too near Ralphs and Costco….would have loved to see them in the Johnson Ave. location instead for SLO…

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  8. kayaknut says:

    Not my favorite store, he fought big against Food 4 Less trying to open in Arroyo Grande with claims of too many in one area and then closing his store. Would shop almost anywhere else first before at a Spencers

    (-1) 37 Total Votes - 18 up - 19 down
  9. Jorge Estrada says:

    Another Big Box Mentality store, hopefully they won’t push supersizing their customers? I have enjoyed the locally owned stores and look foward to their reappearance in our community. My hope is that we do not turn what is good into what we escaped.

    (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      OMG it’s the big box boogie man!! Really? Have you been to the Grocery Outlet in Atascadero? Far from a big box store. When I go in seems about the same as any other store.

      It gets SO OLD hearing everybody use big box for everything they don’t like.

      (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
    • SLOChildrenAtPlay says:

      “Another Big Box Mentality store.”

      Perhaps you have a bit of a reading comprehension problem “Jorge.” Spencer’s is not exactly a “big box” store to begin with, and they are splitting that building into two (20k and 10k sq. feet) to accommodate Grocery Outlet. Not exactly another “big box” store coming to town. Now if you are butt hurt that another chain store is coming to SLO, I can somewhat understand. But downtown SLO already became a soulless strip mall of overpriced chain stores long ago, so at least I applaud THIS change because for once something affordable is coming to SLO.

      Sure this probably upsets all the SoCal refugees who moved here believing that anything affordable somehow equals ghetto. But there are still a few of us working class middle income folks who have lived here all of our lives that are still trying to eek out a meager living here in your northern L.A. fake boob and spray tanned “happiest place in America.”

      (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
      • Jorge Estrada says:

        Yes my concern is about the disappearance of the locally owned stores, a small town comfort. Correct, fake city is deffinately worth avoiding as there is nothing happy about superficial.

        (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          Where do people come up with this Mayberry idea? Mayberry has been gone for years. We have had chain stores in SLO and other places for years. Main street America and all the small moms and pops stores, mostly decreased in the 50’s. Yes there are still some but by and large that era ended a LONG time ago.

          (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
    • unlisted says:

      Big Box Mentality??? Someone needs to learn how to read and then comprehend what they have read. The Grocery Outlet is using LESS space than Spencer’s!

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down

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