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Valley Focus | Woodland Hills

Bristol Farms Closing Store, Seeks New Site

May 09, 1998|JULIE TAMAKI

Bristol Farms, the swanky grocery store known for its gourmet goods, is scheduled to close this weekend.

Company spokeswoman Jody Taylor said the decision to close the Topanga Canyon Boulevard market by Sunday night was due to poor sales.

"The numbers the store generated were simply not what we had expected," Taylor said. "We had never had this problem at any other store."

Taylor said her company met with focus groups in an effort to locate the source of the problem.

"Everybody ended up saying it was the location," Taylor said. "While they felt the service was great and food was wonderful, they wanted us to be on Ventura Boulevard."

Taylor said the store's clientele tends to live south of Ventura Boulevard and, for whatever reason, did not want to drive north of the boulevard to make a trip to Bristol Farms. As a result, the company began searching for a new location two years ago but did not find one.

The decision to close now, Taylor said, was due in part to an attractive offer the company recently received on its lease and because the Woodland Hills store's equipment could be put to use at two new stores scheduled to open in Orange County.

Taylor hinted that Bristol Farms' disappearance from the San Fernando Valley may be just temporary.

"We're looking for another location in the Valley and have put in a bid for a site in Studio City," Taylor said. "But there's also a lot of other people interested in the same location, so we're continuing to look all around that area."

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