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Lisbon Sparkle to close Oct. 31

LISBON — The owners of the local Sparkle Market announced Monday on social media the store will close Oct. 31 after 31 years.

“Over the past three decades we have had the pleasure of serving the Lisbon community and their neighboring towns. Unfortunately, we feel that with the changing times and customer trends, our store no longer fits into the needs of the community. Though we are closing our doors, each employee has been offered a position at a nearby Sparkle Market,” read the post.

The Sparkle is among three in Columbiana County owned and operated by the Furrie and Vitullo families, who encouraged their Lisbon customers to shop at their stores in Columbiana and Salem. The other Sparkle stores in the county — located in East Liverpool and East Palestine — are owned and operated by Gordon Todd.

“It has been an honor to be part of the Lisbon community these many years. We thank you for your kindness and loyal business,” the announcement concluded.

The supermarket is located just north of village limits on state Route 45 and also serves as the local state liquor store. Its closing leaves the Save A Lot located in downtown Lisbon as the closest grocery store.

Lisbon Mayor Peter Wilson said even though Sparkle was located just outside of town, some of its estimated 50 workers there were from the village and residents also shopped there, so it closure is a blow to the community.

Wilson said he has talked with another local grocery chain owner to determine if they are interested in taking over the space, and a meeting is scheduled. He intends to invite Center Township trustee Tim Novak since Sparkle is in the township, and the trustees could be of assistance in finding another operator.

“We need to cooperate more — the village and the township — on things that benefit the Lisbon area,” he said.

Wilson believes Sparkle, like other supermarkets, is feeling the pressure from the increase in discount stores that have also gotten into the grocery business. He noted in the immediate vicinity of Sparkle are three such stores — a Dollar General, Family Dollar and Discount Drug Mart.

“More and more people are shopping for groceries at the dollar stores and its hurting traditional supermarkets,” he said.

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