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Penn Traffic to close 5 central Ohio Big Bear stores

The parent company of Big Bear grocery stores has announced it will close 5 stores in the Columbus area. The stores will cease operations by the end of the year. The move is part of Penn Traffic's plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

In all, Syracuse based Penn traffic is closing 16 stores in its chain. Big bear spokesman Marc Jampole says the stores performance is weak and not expected to improve. The soon to be shuttered big bear stores are: 3680 East Broad Street, Columbus 6867 East Broad Street, Columbus 2700 Bethel Road (at Sawmill), Columbus 920 Hamilton Road, Gahanna. 5419 Roberts Road, Hilliard

Company officials say the closing will affect 325 Big Bear employees. Big bear will continue to operate 25 stores in Franklin County, but Jampole would make no promises about their futures.

Penn Traffic has filed for bankruptcy twice in the last four years; the latest filing occurred in May.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.