Asheville-based natural foods grocer Earth Fare Inc. is closing two of its metro Atlanta stores due to “real estate challenges.”
The stores in Peachtree Corners and at the Emory Point development (near the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will close at the end of the month.
“As part of Earth Fare’s strategy for accelerated growth, we have carefully reviewed our existing portfolio of store locations and made the difficult decision to close our Peachtree Corners and Emory Point locations. Despite the hard work of our team members, the real estate challenges associated with these locations have proven too difficult to overcome. Both stores will continue to serve customers through March 31,” said the grocer in a prepared statement.
Atlanta Business Chronicle had reported in 2013 that Earth Fare was scouting metro Atlanta for its first locations. It opened its Peachtree Corners location in early 2015, with Emory Point following that summer.
One metro Atlanta store remains in Cumming. Earth Fare also has locations in Athens and near Augusta, Ga.
Metro Atlanta in recent years has seen its greatest wave of grocery store openings since the 1990s, fueled by population growth and the trend of more people moving back into the city.
Atlanta Business Chronicle reported last fall that nearly 75 new grocery stores had opened in metro Atlanta over a two-year period.
Earth Fare has 10 stores across North Carolina, including one in the Triad that it renovated last year. It is closing stores just as grocery chains now are competing head to head and are facing their greatest period of innovation, with the growth of new technologies allowing consumers to shop online for produce and packaged goods.