April 7, 2009 in Business

North Side Rosauers supermarket reopening on April 29

By The Spokesman-Review

Four months to the day after heavy snow collapsed the roof at its Five Mile store in north Spokane, Rosauers Supermarkets will reopen for business. That 120-day anniversary is a coincidence and simply the earliest date possible, said company CEO and President Jeff Philipps.

The April 29 reopening likely will be a brief and simple celebration, he said.

The store, at 2517 W. Francis, was open at the time the roof collapsed. No one inside, including about 40 workers, was seriously injured. Total cost to repair the roof and all the interior flooring will be “several million dollars,” Philipps said.

Since the closure the store’s 120 workers either worked shifts at other Rosauers locations or continued on the company payroll, getting 90 percent of their base wage, Philipps said.

The company continued to pay a portion of worker benefits, he added.

“That was one reason we were eager to get this store back open,” Philipps said.

The contractor who took on the project agreed to work six-day weeks to speed up the restoration, he said.

After the reopening, the regional food retailer plans to lift a hiring freeze, said Philipps. That means jobs that come open at its 21 regional stores can be filled by new hires.

The Five Mile store’s design and layout were not altered in the reconstruction, Philipps noted.

Contact Tom Sowa at (509) 459-5492 or toms@spokesman.com.

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