By Michael Abeyta

EDGEWATER, Colo. (CBS4)- Negotiations are back on between King Soopers and the union representing striking workers. They were back at the bargaining table on this third day of the strike and now businesses around King Soopers stores are feeling the impact too.

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One of them is JJ liquors in Edgewater. January is typically a slow month for them, but owner Mulugeta Gessesse says he’s seen an even steeper drop in customers this week.

“Maybe 15%, 20%,” he estimated.

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His store is in the same shopping center as the Edgewater King Soopers where workers have been on strike. That King Soopers store doesn’t sell hard alcohol so Mulugeta thinks he’s missing out on shoppers that would normally stop by after picking up their groceries.

“Our main customer is going to King Soopers,” he said.

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Mulugeta says owning a liquor store is already tough during the first part of a new year. After attending holiday parties and spending money in December, the reality of January drives people away from the party, which means fewer customers for Mulugeta. Usually, he can weather the storm, but this year he says the decreased foot traffic will take an additional toll and may be the final nail in the coffin.

“Being January and added to it a strike and nobody comes in from King Soopers… that will hurt business,” he said.

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He isn’t affiliated with Kroger or King Soopers and he says he would like his customers to come back. He’s not taking sides about who is entitled to what, he just hopes the workers and the company can come to an agreement quickly.

“I hope they come to the negotiation table and figure it out and (we can get) back to normal,” he said.

 

 

Michael Abeyta