Grocery stores have shut their doors across the country as they grapple with a phenomenon experts have dubbed the “retail apocalypse.”
New inflationary spending habits coupled with a rise in e-commerce has meant many brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to survive – hundreds have already closed this year and several more are expected to do so by the end of spring.
Over 60 major retailers filed for bankruptcy in the past year alone, including Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Sears, Lucky Brand, Forever 21 and Circuit City.
But it’s not just department stores that have been affected — seven grocery stores are closing locations, including top chains like Aldi and Walmart.
The US Sun has compiled a list of all the grocery store closures to expect this season.
1. GREEN ZEBRA
Green Zebra has earned the love of healthy eaters across Portland, Oregon.
The niche grocery market was known for its kombucha slushies and healthier meals, but sadly the chain is going under, closing all three of its current locations on March 31st.
The farewell comes after 10 years in the business.
Chief Executive Officer Lisa Sedlar said Green Zebra has “held on to a thread since the pandemic began.”
The combination of inflation in the cost of goods, fuel, insurance, taxes and more forced the store to say goodbye for good, but shoppers will miss its well-known produce section and juice bar.
One shopper expressed his disappointment at the closures on Facebook: “It was the only place downtown I could find ota tofu, Mary’s chicken and Mary’s turkey, and these amazing sambusas.”
Something must be in the water for grocers in Portland as retail giant Walmart also closes two in the city on March 24.
However, Walmart’s closures stretch far and wide, and the company announced that eight stores in five states and Washington DC would disappear this spring.
Several factors played a role in the closures, Walmart said.
In addition to changing inflationary spending habits, Walmart’s CEO said increasing theft has the potential to trigger higher prices or outright closures in certain areas.
Illinois, DC, Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico and Wisconsin will all experience new Walmart closures this spring, leaving many shoppers without their favorite neighborhood grocer.
Because of its niche products and affordable prices, Sprouts gained popularity in the United States.
However, the chain is closing several stores due to financial underperformance.
While the store still plans to open 30 new locations, 11 stores are saying goodbye for good.
The majority of closures are centered on Sprouts’ large-scale stores as the chain moves towards smaller models.
The 11 closures will take place in Texas, California, Georgia, Florida and Washington.
Two of the specific locations released are stores in West Hollywood, California and Wellington, Florida, which will close on April 30.
4. GO AMAZON
Amazon wasn’t immune to the pressures retailers will face in 2023, either.
The company is closing its brick and mortar Amazon Go stores left and right, with eight of the locations closing this month.
These include two in Seattle, two in New York and four in San Francisco.
Amazon has also made headlines with massive layoffs in recent months, despite having previously invested in the grocery store.
Discounters have thrived especially in a time of inflationary spending.
Nevertheless, Aldi is still closing some stores due to low sales.
The chain opened 49 new stores last year, but in 2023 a Pittsburgh store will close on March 21.
Luckily for shoppers, a nearby city, New Kensington, unveiled a new store just two days later.
Previously, Aldi also closed stores in Minneapolis and Fort Worth, Texas.
Kroger is also closing two stores this month.
The closures are arriving in the Dayton, Ohio area, but a larger Kroger store officially opened three days ago, on March 10.
Kroger was in a period of transition as it sold many stores ahead of its upcoming merger with grocer Albertsons.
7. STOP & SHOP
The Stop & Shop location in Highland Park, New Jersey will close on March 23.
The Northeast grocer made the decision due to financial underperformance, the company said.
This is bad news for Highland Park residents, however, as no other grocery chain currently exists in town.
Another Stop & Shop store in Brooklyn, New York, closed in January.
A major fashion retailer has also announced its upcoming closure of two famous locations.
Also, The US Sun outlined a full list of all stores that bid farewell to buyers in March.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/7617731/grocery-stores-closing-this-spring/ Seven grocery chains are closing 34 stores this spring — including Aldi and Walmart — in the latest “retail apocalypse.”