Multiple reports are flooding in from the field that Assi Natural Market, which took over the space from Stein Mart in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Irvine, seems like it's on life support.
Among the e-mails we've received: "Seems like they're closing down, no fresh fruits/vegetables, only canned foods on shelves. I even spotted former Assi market employees working at Zion Market. Rumors floating around that Assi will be out of business soon."
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The Korean supermarket store opened earlier this year in March to much fanfare. Other locations in the chain include Georgia, New York, Illinois, and Los Angeles. But this location, tucked away inside a leafy residential neighborhood and not at all street facing, seems to have suffered from relative anonymity (even a friend who lived in the neighborhood didn't realize it was there until I mentioned it) and competition from HMart and Zion, not to mention the 99 Ranch just a few blocks away.
When I called their customer service line last night to ask them point blank if it's closing, the man who answered insisted it's not, and that it's merely undergoing an ownership change.
Meanwhile, Woori, the Korean supermarket that replaced Freshia in Tustin, remains closed while they undergo "renovation"--a renovation that's been going on for almost a year now.