Marketplace Foods incorporates closing times at all locations

Late-night grocery shopping will become more difficult from May 5 onward as the four Marketplace Foods stores in Minot will have new hours, according to Ralph Towery, area director for Marketplace Foods.

All four stores located at South Broadway near 16th Street, South Broadway at 20th Avenue, at Dakota Square Mall and at Arrowhead Shopping Center will close at midnight. For the Arrowhead and Dakota Square Mall locations, this will actually represent an extension. The stores now close at 11 p.m.

For the Broadway locations, though, the move is a major cut from their former 24-hour schedule. The main store at the intersection of South Broadway and 20th Avenue Southwest will also open at 5 a.m., whereas the other stores will open at 6 a.m.

“The main reason is so we can be better prepared for the next day for our customers,” Towery said. “Better faced, more stocked, ready to go.”

With the influx of people to Minot in the last few years, store workers have to monitor late-night customer activity, which took away from productively preparing the store for the next morning by stocking items, mopping and waxing the floors and all other activities needed to keep the store ready to go.

“We’re trying to watch out for our employees, too,” Towery said, although stressing that the majority of the stores’ customers are great people. “We’ve got some people who can be fairly destructive.”

Despite the move, all night-shift employees will continue in their overnight positions.

“Nobody’s job is in jeopardy,” Towery said. He had hinted that it was also hard to find new workers willing to work the overnight shift and that had some influence upon the decision. “We’re very fortunate right now that we have good people,” he said.

The move has been in the works for the last couple of months. Towery said that management sought input from employees and also had to remove “24 hours” signs, among other things, in preparation. The company has been giving customers two-weeks notice of the change by posting notification on store doors.