The success of the supermarket branches operated by Bridgeport-based People’s Bank, whose headquarters are shown above, has led to the closure of some traditional branches.

Successful supermarket branches in Bridgeport-based People’s bank’s network have led to the closing of some of the bank’s more traditional branches.

The bank recently closed traditional branches in Hartford and Danbury that were near newer branches in Stop & Shops. The bank has Stop & Shop branches across the state that are open seven days a week.

The bank closed the Danbury branch on Newton Road earlier this month. The branch was directly across the street from one of People’s Stop & Shop branches. The Park Street branch in Hartford also closed at the beginning of March. The branch was a quarter of a mile from the bank’s closest Stop & Shop branch.

Meanwhile, the bank is planning some traditional branch expansion this year. It has announced a new branch in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich that will open in the late summer or early fall, according to spokesman Brent Digiorgio.

Bank officials previously have said they are exploring further options for expansion into markets contiguous to Connecticut, such as New York’s Westchester County and Massachusetts, but haven’t made any formal announcements.

Other Connecticut banks, such as Waterbury-based Webster Bank, have announced plans to move into new markets. Webster had its formal grand opening for its fifth Westchester County branch at the beginning of this year. The bank has branches in Yonkers, White Plains, Rye and Mamaroneck. The first branch, in Scarsdale, opened a little more than a year ago.

People’s will possibly open more branches in Connecticut this year, but has not announced any locations, Digiorgio said.

Following the Customers

Despite the closings, People’s likely will end this year with more branches than it had last year, a trend seen across the country and one that has been echoed in Connecticut. Although the number of banks based in the state declined sharply over the last several years, the number of branches has stayed fairly consistent, rising a bit in the past 10 years.

It is unclear how many institutions were based in Connecticut in 1993 because the Department of Banking lumped together the numbers of out-of-state and in-state banks. But in 1995, when the department began to differentiate the two, there were 103 Connecticut-based banks. Eight years later, in 2003, there were 70.

However, at the end of 2003, there were 44 more branches than there were in 1993, largely because of the influx of out-of-state banks that arrived in the mid-1990s. In 1993, there was a total of 1,102 branches in the state; 10 years later, there were 1,146.

People’s decided to close its Hartford and Danbury locations after a review that showed more transactions were happening at the two nearby Stop & Shop branches.

“We periodically review our branches and see if traffic patterns are changing,” Digiorgio said. “The thought behind it is that we are the only bank in Connecticut that offers seven-day banking … You want to be where your customers are.”

None of the employees of the two closed branches will be laid off, according to Digiorgio.

“All staff is guaranteed jobs,” he said.

Digiorgio added that the employees will have jobs either in the nearby Stop & Shop branches or in other branches in the system. The bank wanted to keep as many employees of the closed branches as possible nearby so they could continue to serve the customers of their old branches.