DELHI _ A downtown Delhi independent supermarket is closing its doors after 13 years in business.

Brian Domion said Friday that he is closing Domion's Great American on Main Street because business has dropped off unexpectedly during the latest downturn in the economy.

"Business was much lower than expected," Domion said. "Usually food sales are the last thing to feel the squeeze, but not this time."

Domion said he began a liquidation sale Friday that will continue until the inventory is gone. He is offering 20 percent off all purchases.

Domion has cut store hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. He said he anticipates closing in mid-July.

Domion said he has owned and operated the store since 1996, but before he bought it, the store was part of the Great American chain and had been a Victory Store.

"The store probably goes back to the 1950s," Domion said.

Domion said he and his 14 employees will be out of work.

"I have always had excellent employees and loyal customers," he said. "It has been a very, very sad day."

Domion said he has known the decision to close was imminent, but added that it was "one of the toughest decisions I ever made. Independent stores have a tough time competing with the big chains," he said. "The pie is only so big."

Delhi Mayor David Truscott said he and his wife, Nancy, bought most of their groceries at Domion's Great American.

"It's a shame he's closing. We did almost all of our shopping there because we love to walk," Truscott said. "And there are a lot of other people who live in the village and walk there to shop.

"It certainly is going to leave a big hole right in the middle of downtown," Truscott added.

The store was busy Friday as people stopped to take advantage of the discount prices.

Domion said the store had done well in the past. He said he always tried to carry unusual items and often attracted a large number of senior citizens who were used to the layout of the store.

"We did well and hardly ever heard any negatives," Domion said. "But people are looking for price, price, price." Domion said he will be offering the property for sale.

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Patricia Breakey can be reached at 746-2894 or at stardelhi@stny.rr.com.

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