NC-based Earth Fare to close all its grocery stores, including 2 in the Triangle

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Organic grocery chain Earth Fare said it is closing all of its stores, saying it can't refinance its debt and it faces sales challenges.

The Asheville-based chain said Monday that workers at its stores across the South and in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, have been notified of the pending closures as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported, citing a news release.

"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. 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," Earth Fare said in a release.

The chain has two locations in the Triangle, a store on Moncreiffe Road in Raleigh and one in the Cary.Morrisville area on Morrisville Parkway.

Earth Fare, which started in 1975, has tried "numerous strategic initiatives aimed at growth and expansion and enhancing the customer experience" in recent years, the company said. But it was not enough.

"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," the statement reads. "As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis.

The statement said the chain would continue to look for potential suitors for its stores.
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