Pittman’s Market in Hancock closing after 72 years

Pittman’s Market in Hancock closing after 72 years

Katiann Marshall

HANCOCK — After 72 years of serving the Tri-State area, Pittman’s Market in Hancock will be closing, and a Food Lion will open in its place.

The family-owned grocery store announced its last date of operation will be Oct. 18.

Current owners David and Seena Pittman will be retiring, which David said is bittersweet.

“There’s mixed emotions. To me, there were three things that were important: that it was a good decision for my family and myself; the concern for my employees to have an opportunity to interview and apply for jobs at Food Lion; and the other concern was, since being involved in the community for so long, that the town still had a full-service supermarket, and Food Lion will provide that service,” he said.

Pittman said Food Lion’s human resources department has agreed to meet with current Pittman’s Market employees and let them interview for positions with their company.

“A lot of thought went into what’s best, and we reached common ground with them (Food Lion),” he said.

According to Pittman, “after quickly converting the existing store into a Food Lion,” the grocery store chain plans to open its doors in early November. He said Food Lion, which will be leasing the building from him, is excited to serve the Hancock community.

Pittman took over the business in 1972. His parents, Bud and Betty Pittman, opened the business after his father came home from serving in World War II.

“My dad was a captain in the U.S. Air Force. When he came home, my parents went and bought an existing business, more like a general store. In 1952, they bought a piece of property across the street and built a store,” he said.

Pittman said the store was the first supermarket in Washington County to have a self-service meat case, which he said he believes will be missed.

“We have had an overwhelming response from the public about our deli and meats not being available anymore,” he said.

In 1986, the market moved from its former location on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and High Street to its current location at 345 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Tracy McIntyre Leach of Needmore, Pa., has been shopping at Pittman’s for 10 years.

“I am bummed to see a family business being replaced by a corporate one. We have become accustomed to Pittman’s (Market) and Sav-A-Lot, and getting used to a new chain store will take some adjustment,” Leach said.

Hunter Clark of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., grew up shopping at the market and has continued to shop there. He said he is sad to see it go.

“I feel it’s a terrible mistake. Food Lion will have a monopoly in the area, unless you want to drive 25 miles to another IGA. Pittman’s gave seniors a price break every Tuesday.You won’t see Food Lion doing this,” he said.

Randy Paylor of Hancock said he shopped at Pittman’s for convenience, but he isn’t opposed to another store in its place.

“I have always found Pittman’s pricing to be a bit on the high side, but you could not beat the convenience. As long as another store comes in and jobs are kept, I have no feelings either way,” Paylor said.

Pittman said the store will have an inventory-reduction sale starting Thursday, Sept. 28. He said all products must go. There will also be a three-week program in which customers will receive a percentage off all purchases.

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