Benny’s is “Retiring”: All Stores to Close by the End of 2017

Talk about some sad news on a Friday afternoon.

The Bromberg siblings.

By the end of this year, the treasured Benny’s smell will be gone forever.

According to a press release sent out this afternoon, the ninety-three-year-old business will cease operations by the end of 2017, citing the family’s desire to retire. The release also notes that the decision was influenced by the “changing face of retail today,” think: Amazon and other online retailers. Benny’s operates thirty-one locations across Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, with 717 employees. (Read our piece on the amazing Benny’s origin story here.)

According to the press release, owner Arnold Bromberg says, “As proud owners of Benny’s this is an emotional time for us. Benny’s has been something the Bromberg family has invested enormous amounts of capital, time and energy in for nearly a century in this region. We take great pride in what our retail stores have meant to our employees and many loyal customers for so long”

Bromberg continues: “But it is simply time. Our current ownership is all at the age where we would like to retire from the business and spend more time with our families, and we have collectively judged that the always competitive retail landscape has shifted in a way that makes it almost impossible for small, family-owned chains like ours to reasonably compete moving forward.”

Bromberg cites a desire to close down the state retail institution the “right way.”

“That future is not so bright for small, family-owned chains like ours,” he says. “We’ve lived and breathed this way of doing business for a long time, but we could not, in good conscience, leave the business to the next generation of our family when these market conditions would so clearly conspire to work against them.”

Big thanks and best of luck to the Bromberg family and the many treasured employees who sold us our first bikes, gardening supplies, house paint, tires, a grill (and propane for said grill), and the best damn stocking stuffers around. We’ll miss you.

And for you, my fellow Benny’s lover: Go ahead, impulse shop-and-sniff your sadness away. At least we have this awesomeness to remember them by: