Three Manatee County Sweetbay grocery stores will close in February, according to media reports.
The stores are:
- 5201 33rd St. E., Bradenton
- 8750 State Road 70 E
- 3410 U.S. 301 E, Ellenton
- A Sarasota store will close, too. It is at 501 N. Beneva Rd.
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, made the announcement Wednesday as it released its 2012 annual report.
According to the report, "We announce today store closures, the majority of which will occur at Sweetbay. This will result in approximately €130 million store closing expenses and related impairments of which €80 million will be incurred 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.”
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."