PORTSMOUTH — The Shaw's supermarket at 1600 Woodbury Ave. will be closing after 26 years due to under-performance, the company announced. 

Shaw's spokesperson Teresa Edington said Monday, "While the decision to close a store is always difficult, given the impact on employees and customers, it was made only after careful evaluation and was guided by what is best for the company’s ongoing success and future growth."

She said the store opened on April 1, 1993 and is expected to close by Feb. 9. The store manager said he is not authorized to comment.

Dottie Dee, coordinator of the New Life food pantry in Raymond, went to the store Monday to collect a car full of food donations which, she said, the grocery store has been regularly making to help needy neighbors.

"I'm friends with all the people who work here and I wish them all the best," she said. "You come here so often, you become friends. The people are all great and I'm going to miss that."

Dee said she was not yet sure where she will be making future food collections for the pantry, but noted, "They all give."

A shopper who asked to be identified as "Diane D" said she has been shopping at the Shaw's because it's convenient and she knows where everything is located.

"I know all the cashiers," she said. "I'll probably go to the Shaw's in Dover now."

The Portsmouth Shaw's is located within close proximity to one of two Market Basket stores in Portsmouth, where there are also Hannaford, Trader Joe's and McKinnon's supermarkets. Anecdotally, the Shaw's store often appeared the least busy of all.

"Like all retailers, we’re constantly evaluating the performance of our portfolio of stores," Edington said. "Closing an under-performing store is always a tough decision, but we’re focused on growing our business by being the favorite local supermarket and running great stores where people love to shop. That’s what will enable us to offer the products and services our customers value most in New Hampshire and everywhere else we operate."

Signs at the Market Basket store at 1465 Woodbury Ave. say the grocery store nearby is hiring supermarket workers. A spokesperson there, who asked not to be named, confirmed the store is hiring and said Shaw's employees have not yet applied.

Edington said Shaw's and its affiliate Star Market are, "working to become the favorite food and drug retailer in every state (they) operate.

"Shaw’s is one of the oldest continuously operated supermarkets in the United States with its roots dating to 1860," she said. "Throughout five New England states, there are 153 store locations employing approximately 19,000 employees."

Shaw's also has grocery stores nearby at 33 Lafayette Road in North Hampton, 100 Shaw's Lane in Stratham and 851 Central Ave. in Dover.