Earth Fare plans to close all of its specialty stores, including the Wilmington location, according to an announcement Monday.
The Wilmington store of the Asheville-based chain opened a little over a year ago at Renaissance Market, 943 Military Cutoff Road.
"All of our other tentants are doing very well," said Raiford Trask III, of Wilmington-based Trask Land Co., on Monday morning.
The shopping center, which also includes West Marine, Blaze Pizza, Starbucks, Verizon and a nail salon, is owned by a Trask entity and its partners.
"Whatever the outcome, we are confident that we will be able to strengthen Renaissance Market for both our tenants and their customers," Trask said.
The closing of all 50 of Earth Fare's stores, expected to be complete by the end of February, hit the national news Monday. In a news release, Earth Fare officials announced that the company "will begin inventory liquidation sales at all of its stores. Pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), all employees have been notified of the impending closure of the company's stores and corporate office.
"During this time, the company will continue to pursue a sale of assets, in whole or in parts."
Over the course of the past few years, according to the release, the company has focused on ways to grow.
"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. 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," the release stated.
Check back later for more details on this developing story.
Jessica Maurer - Aug 3, 2020
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