First Benny’s store in RI closing

By: News Staff

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — It is a day many here Southern New England knew was coming but that does not make it any easier.

Benny’s is closing its East Providence store late Wednesday evening.

It is the end of an era.

The East Providence Benny’s opened for the last time Wednesday. A line of customers clapped as they were welcomed inside Wednesday morning.

“I’m really sad to see them go. Really, really sad to see them go,” said Shelia Parker, a long time costumer.

For many, Benny’s has become a part of their lives. They have been coming to Pawtucket Avenue or the locations for as long as they can remember.

“Oh probably about 25 years,” said Marylou Skinner.

It came as a shock to those loyal shoppers when Benny’s announced earlier this month that they would be closing all stores by the end of the year.

The owners are retiring, but also say increased competition from online retailers is to blame.

Still, it was an emotional day for Arnold Bromberg whose family opened the chain.

“I was 3-years-old when it opened. I’m sure I was here. I probably have pictures to prove it but don’t remember it,” said Benny’s co-owner, Arnold Bromberg.

Shoppers took advantage of the deals since everything in the store is 40% off and snagged the final Benny’s memento.

T-shirts with the company’s logo were gone in seconds.

“This was the best find. I have to ask my husband if he wants one,” said Diane Agge.

The shelves starting to look pretty bare and Benny’s employees restocked the best they could.

Loyal customers had a hard time with letting go and just happy to be at their favorite store one last time.

“I wish it wasn’t happening. I understand the need for the owners to retire and to enjoy life but this is a staple in our town. so we’ll miss it for sure,” said Lucy Pereria.

More closures are set to take place this weekend and that includes the stores in Cranston and Middleboro.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017