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Scottsbluff Papa John’s closing Sunday, owner cites declining sales

November 29, 2017

The Scottsbluff Papa John’s has suffered a tough year and will shut its doors Sunday, its owner said Wednesday.

Owner Brett Griner, who has operated the local franchise for the last 11 years, said that the business saw sales decline by 30 percent.

Griner said that sales began to take a slump last year, almost immediately after Kmart closed in December 2016. It’s not uncommon for sales to slump in January, he said, but “Unfortunately, it continued throughout the entire year, no matter how hard we tried, nothing helped.”

A good portion of the pizza business’ foot traffic decreased with the closure of Kmart and it was the sole occupant in the shopping center. With the lack of other occupants, problems with the condition of the parking lot, Griner said he tried unsuccessfully to relocate at another location.

Typically, Griner said, the business sees an increase in sales during the football season. However, he said, controversies in the NFL and even a poor Broncos season meant that annual bounce back did not occur.

The store is operating with a smaller staff, with most of the employees having found other jobs, Griner said. The business is still offering service, including delivery through Sunday, though he said wait times may increase.

“We appreciate everyone’s business,” he said.

Griner, who has been with the franchise since 2002, said he is exploring some other opportunities with Papa John’s on the corporate level, however, because he has family in the area, he expects that he’ll stay in Scottsbluff.

The store will close Dec. 3, at 10 p.m.