One Sarasota Sweetbay Supermarket and three in Manatee County will close in February, according to media reports.
The stores are at:
- 501 N. Beneva Rd., Sarasota
- 8750 State Road 70 E, Bradenton
- 3410 U.S. 301 E, Ellenton
- 5201 33rd St. E., Bradenton
According to TBO, around 2,000 people will lose their jobs in Florida as a result of the closings:
"They are simply underperforming stores," said Sweetbay spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau. "Some of them, the leases were coming up, and just based on the sales of the stores they were selected."
The Delhaize Group, which owns Sweetbay and Food Lion, made the announcement Wednesday as it released its 2012 annual report.
According to the Delhaize report, the company would spend $173 million in store closing expenses and $106 million in 2013:
“We remain determined to accelerate the transformation of our business," Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group said in a news release. "In 2013, our focus will be on further strengthening our store brands, accelerating revenue growth, maintaining strict cost control and generating free cash flow.”
The company has seen growth with its other grocery store brands in the U.S., Hannaford, discount grocery store Bottom Dollar and Food Lion, which included using the upscale Bloom store model and converting those stores into Food Lions and using that format for new stores.
LeBeau, according to Bay News 9, said that "While these decisions are difficult, especially given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, these actions will continue to enhance the performance of our overall store portfolio and further enable us to deliver profitable growth and accelerate shareholder value."