More than 800 to be affected by sale of Hiller’s Markets
A total of 846 Hiller’s Market workers are expected to be affected when the stores are sold this summer to Kroger of Michigan, attorneys for the store said in a filing with the state.
Officials announced this month that Kroger has agreed to buy all seven Hiller’s Market locations in a deal that closes the Commerce Township store in July but keeps the remaining sites open. The other six stores are expected to operate under the Hiller’s banner until the sale is finalized in early July, then switch to the Kroger brand.
According to a notice from Hiller’s attorneys posted on the state’s Workforce Development Agency website, an exact date for the closings has not yet been set, but the employees face termination between June 30 and July 13.
The hourly employees affected are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers. The affected salaried, management and non-bargaining unit employees are not represented by a labor organization, the letter said.
Hiller’s has said its workers would need to apply to Kroger. A company representative could not be reached for comment Friday. .
Officials at the stores have declined comment on terms of the sale. But company vice president Justin Hiller said the 75-year-old, third-generation chain had been in talks with Kroger for months.
Hiller’s was founded as a downtown Detroit butcher shop in 1941 and the first store opened in Berkley a decade later. The stores carry a wide selection of ready-to-eat deli and specialty items, made- and grown-in-Michigan products, as well as what the company claimed was the Midwest’s largest selection of gluten-free foods.
Along with the Union Lake Road location in Commerce Township, Hiller’s currently operates stores in Ann Arbor, Northville, Plymouth, South Lyon, West Bloomfield and another in Commerce Township.
Kroger, which recorded fiscal 2014 sales of $108.5 billion, operates 2,625 grocery stores in 34 states under more than 20 different names, including 123 stores and 64 Kroger fuel centers in Michigan. Last year, Kroger launched a $100 million improvement and expansion program for its Michigan stores.