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Fred Meyer closing Feb. 2

Failed lease talks prompt closure of North Side store

After nearly four decades in business, the north Spokane Fred Meyer store on East Francis Avenue closes its doors on Feb. 2.

That’s two days later than the original Jan. 31 date announced by the company last year.

The extension gives bookkeepers better coordination of the store’s accounts, said spokeswoman Melinda Merrill.

But the change also allows employees two extra days to say goodbye to neighborhood customers, said Samantha Stout, the store’s human resources director.

Portland-based Fred Meyer announced the store is closing after failing to negotiate a new lease with the landlord, SMS Associates of Seattle.

A call to the principal manager of SMS was not returned on Monday.

Stout said Fred Meyer regarded the store as one of its more successful in Eastern Washington.

Last year the store was voted No. 1 in the entire Kroger Foods network for level of employee satisfaction.

“That reflects that we have some of the most amazing associates and they help make this a successful store,” Stout said.

Not yet decided is a decision on shortening store hours.

The store usually closes at 11 p.m. Stout said the company may close its doors at 9 p.m. in the last weeks before shutting down.