Earth Fare announced this morning that all 50 stores nationwide will be closing their doors. Yes, all of them.
Citing financial stress, the Asheville, North Carolina-based company announced the closure today, and says it will seek a sale of assets.
"While many of these initiatives improved the business, continued challenges in the retail industry impeded the company's progress as well as its ability to refinance its debt,” said the company in a press release. “As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis. As such, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to commence inventory liquidation sales while we continue to engage in a process to find potential suitors for our stores."
Earth Fare opened its first Florida location just three years ago, and announced in October that it wanted to open 15 more. The organic grocery store is known for rejecting added hormones, high-fructose corn syrup and antibiotics in any and all products sold.
In total, there are 15 in Florida, with local locations in Largo, Palm Harbor, Lutz, Lakewood Ranch and three in Orlando. Each store employs roughly 75 to 100 people.
The company says they notified employees of the closures this morning, and that the stores will begin their liquidation sales soon. However, phone calls to employees at three Tampa Bay area locations (Lakewood Ranch, Lutz and Ocala) turned up no set dates or details regarding the sales.
This comes about a week after Lucky’s Market announced they were closing all of their locations, except one, in Florida. Though we’ve said goodbye to these stores, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Rollin Oats, Sprouts are still open and flourishing in the Bay area, leaving us with no shortage of organic goodies.
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