Another grocery company is headed for the compost heap.
The North Carolina-based organic grocery chain Earth Fare, which has stores in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and other southeastern states, said it has kicked off liquidation sales as it tries to sell its assets. But all the stores will close and Earth Fare’s roughly 3,000 employees will lose their jobs if no buyers emerge, according to Jennifer Mercer, a spokeswoman for the company.
“Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis,” the company said in a statement.
Earth Fare has tried to grow and expand in recent years by implementing “numerous strategic initiatives,” it said, but broader headwinds in the retail industry made it harder for the company to refinance its debt. Mercer declined to disclose how much debt the privately held company has.
Earth Fare’s announcement came less than two weeks after Fairway Market filed for bankruptcy as it unveiled a deal to sell five of its New York City locations for about $70 million. Lucky’s Market, another organic-focused chain with more than 30 stores, also filed for bankruptcy last week.
Earth Fare said it has notified employees about the impending closures of its stores and its corporate office.
“Earth Fare has been proud to serve the natural and organic grocery market, and the decision to begin the process of closing our stores was not entered into lightly,” the company said in its statement. “We’d like to thank our team members for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers, and our vendors and suppliers for their partnership.”