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Charlotte Area

NC-Based Earth Fare To Close Stores

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Earth Fare
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Updated Feb. 5

Asheville-based Earth Fare Inc. is closing all its grocery stores — a move that impacts several stores in the Charlotte region.

The company said Monday that it’s “not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis,” citing retail-industry challenges and trouble refinancing debt. The company is starting to liquidate inventory and will look for “potential suitors” for its stores.

"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 Monday in an unattributed statement.

On Tuesday, the chain filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities and assets of $100 million-$500 million, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Earth Fare opened its first store – then called Dinner for the Earth – in 1975 in Asheville as a small natural foods shop. It changed its name in 1994, turned into a supermarket and started expanding, eventually opening dozens of stores in the Southeast and Midwest.

Employees were notified Monday about the impending closure, which also includes Earth Fare’s corporate offices in Henderson County. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Earth Fare has at least 2,500 employees.

Nineteen of its stores are in the Carolinas.

Locally, Earth Fare has three stores in Charlotte, one in Concord, one in Huntersville and two in York County, South Carolina. Its 50th store opened in Charlotte's Steele Creek area in early 2019. At the time, CEO Frank Scorpiniti said the company had "aggressive goals for growth" in the coming years. 

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