Sunday, September 27, 2020
77.5 F
The Villages

Mayor says Earth Fare closing could open door for Trader Joe’s

Lady Lake Mayor Jim Richards said the sudden announcement of the nationwide closing of Earth Fare grocery stores could open the door for another retailer, like Trader Joe’s.

The Asheville, N.C.-based natural and organic grocery chain announced Monday it will be closing all of its stores in the United States.

That leaves in limbo the status of a mammoth Earth Fare store under construction between U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and County Road 25 in Lady Lake.

The Earth Fare location in Lady Lake is in limbo after the grocery store chain announced it will be closing all of its stores.

The developer, the Benchmark Group of New York, was said to be surprised by Earth Fare’s sudden announcement. However, Benchmark has a long relationship with the town and had brought in a great deal of successful retailers, including Best Buy, Sam’s Club, SteinMart and Kohl’s, as well as restaurants, such as Longhorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse and Sweet Tomatoes.

The mayor said these types of sudden closures are to be expected in the business world. But when one door closes, others can open, he said.

Villagers have long expressed their desire for a Trader Joe’s.

“That could be a great spot for Trader Joe’s,” he said.

Villagers for many years have been clamoring for a Trader Joe’s, which offers a “fresh format” grocery shopping experience.

Meanwhile, the news of the closures came as a shock to Earth Fare employees in Ocala.

“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 a press release. “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.”

The company cited “financial stress” as the reason for shutting down.

“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,” the company explained in a release. “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.”

More Headlines

Longtime Villager remembered in drive-by wake organized by her family

The threat of the Coronavirus has forced many changes in our lives, including plenty of social distancing, but the family of Josephine Noordover felt it important to find a way to include her vast network of friends in The Villages to celebrate her life.

10 more local residents die of COVID-19 as new cases crop up in Villages area

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 10 more local residents as new cases of the deadly virus were reported in and around The Villages.

Photos

Roseate Spoonbill Landing At Hogeye Pathway

Check out this roseate spoonbill landing at Hogeye Pathway. Thanks to Sam Boatman for sharing!

Carolina Chickadee Near Lake Miona Regional Recreation Center

This Carolina chickadee was spotted near Lake Miona Regional Recreation Center. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

Hot Air Balloons Sailing Over Lake Sumter

These hot air balloons were spotted sailing over Lake Sumter east of the Morse Boulevard bridge in The Village of Caroline. Thanks to Jim Strothman for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

Trump won’t give Social Security and Medicare to illegal aliens

A Village of Hemingway resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says President Trump won’t give Social Security and Medicare to illegal aliens. And there’s more he’ll do.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Wildwood man lands back in jail after violating bond in battery case

A Wildwood man landed back in jail after violating his bond in a battery case.

Opinions

Villagers must take extra precautions against COVID-19 as town squares reopen

We are sincerely hopeful that Villagers will use commonsense and take precautions against COVID-19 when the town squares reopen for entertainment next month. Lives could depend on it.

Top Stories

Serious sanitation violations discovered at restaurants in The Villages

Serious sanitation violations were discovered during recent health inspections at a pair of restaurants in The Villages.

Longtime Villager remembered in drive-by wake organized by her family

The threat of the Coronavirus has forced many changes in our lives, including plenty of social distancing, but the family of Josephine Noordover felt it important to find a way to include her vast network of friends in The Villages to celebrate her life.

10 more local residents die of COVID-19 as new cases crop up in Villages area

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 10 more local residents as new cases of the deadly virus were reported in and around The Villages.

Letters to the Editor

Trump won’t give Social Security and Medicare to illegal aliens

A Village of Hemingway resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says President Trump won’t give Social Security and Medicare to illegal aliens. And there’s more he’ll do.

Stopping the trolls from manipulating Community Standards

A Village of Liberty Park resident says Community Development District 5 is trying to stop the trolls from manipulating Community Standards. Read his Letter to the Editor.

No wonder people are afraid of police

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Harmeswood at Belle Aire resident describes a concerning interaction he had with law enforcement.

Crime

Wildwood man lands back in jail after violating bond in battery case

A Wildwood man landed back in jail after violating his bond in a battery case.

Face-punching Summerfield teen popped after nasty tiff with man at friend’s house

An 18-year-old Summerfield man found himself behind bars Thursday night after a violent scuffle with a man at a friend’s house.

Summerfield man already on probation jailed after nabbed with Bob Marley pipe

A Summerfield man already on probation was nabbed with a Bob Marley pipe with cocaine residue.