(Although these are both chains, one is local to Boston so I think this is the right board.)
I have mixed feelings about this. This only affects one store I regularly shop, one that I am not a big fan of (Arlington), and another which is pretty nice but further away (Melrose) and their stores could use a bit of love and care so maybe the family is ready for an out as the article suggests. However, Johnnie's does have a solid product set (old school meat cutters offering some variety cuts, decent salt cod, some decent sausage and deli products, gray corned beef and _ribs_, italian-oriented canned goods, beano's sub dressing, ok produce staples). I love when they have sales for un-cut "sirloin tips" because you can usually find a piece of flap-meat that is tender, nicely marbled, and get to cut it to your own liking. I even like their Italian sub with cut to order meats, although the (house baked) bread is a bit odd and the Beacon Street store can be good for beer 12-packs. I can't imagine the remaining stores keeping up the same variety, purchasing power, or even freshness (a real problem with their closed West Medford store) if they drop 60% of their locations. Plus a couple of remaining locations are close to competitors like Market Basket (Medford), McKinnon's (Somerville Alewife), Price Rite (Lynn) and South Weymouth is pretty far away. Seems to me that this either spells them respinning the stores into something else upscale or they otherwise get sold/closed too. That would be a true bummer because while not fashionable, Johnnie's is pretty unique product wise and they will be missed.