Lunds & Byerlys will close an underperforming supermarket on St. Paul's East Side in early March.

The store, which opened as a Byerly's grocery in 1971, has "continued to experience declining sales," said Aaron Sorenson, a Lunds & Byerlys spokesman. "It's just no longer viable to continue to operate."

The store at 1959 Suburban Av. is scheduled to close March 7. Its 65 employees are being offered jobs at other Lunds & Byerlys stores in the metro area, Sorenson said.

The grocery business is getting increasingly competitive in the Twin Cities, though Lunds & Byerlys has gained market share in recent years. The chain, which caters to the higher end of the grocery market, has opened six stores since 2006, including one in Woodbury, a few miles east of the supermarket that is closing.

After the East Side outlet shuts down, Lunds & Byerlys will have 26 full-service grocery stores in the Twin Cities.

Mike Hughlett