It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the grocery business. First, the popular New York grocer Fairway filed for bankruptcy and then Lucky’s Market followed suit and closed down most of its stores.
On Monday, the health conscious grocer Earth Fare became the latest casualty. The company announced plans to shut down all of its stores, including its two South Florida locations.
The Asheville, North Carolina-based grocery company said it will try to sell its assets since it was unable to refinance its debt.
Earth Fare is backed by the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital. It has a store in Boynton Beach at 8855 Boynton Beach Boulevard, and a store in Palm Beach Gardens at 4925 PGA Boulevard.
The company added that some of its financial troubles stemmed from “continued challenges in the retail industry.” Earth Fare also said it “is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis” and will begin “inventory liquidation.”
Earth Fare has filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice, and all of its employees have been notified of the store closures, according to a statement from Earth Fare.
The company has 50 locations across 10 states in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest.
Last month, Lucky’s announced it will close 32 stores across the country, including all 20 of its locations in Florida with the exception of its Melbourne store, and filed for bankruptcy. Its decision came after Kroger said in December it would divest its stake in Lucky’s.
Meanwhile, other grocery companies are acquiring stores or opening new ones, including Florida grocery giant Publix Super Markets and Aldi.
Lucky’s said it reached an agreement with Aldi to lease five stores and buy one property. Publix will also lease five of Lucky’s stores, according to a release.