EAST COUNTY — Sweetbay Supermarket announced Jan. 16, it will close 33 stores in Florida, including its 49,430-square-foot East County location at 8750 State Road 70 E., Bradenton.
Two other stores in Manatee County — 5201 33rd St. E., Bradenton, and 3410 U.S. 301, Ellenton — and one in Sarasota — 501 N. Beneva Road, Suite 180 — also will close. Seven area stores will remain open.
The stores being closed were not meeting sales expectations, and their closures will enhance shareholder value, said Nicole LeBeau, spokesperson for Sweetbay.
“Those stores will be closing by Feb. 13,” Le Beau said. “There will be a markdown process that will start soon. There will be no new inventory coming into the stores.”
Those stores will maintain hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until they close next month.
In total, about 2,000 employees — between 50 and 60 per store — will be displaced. The company will provide severance packages to eligible associates, including full- and part-time employees.
Sweetbay leases all of its store locations, LeBeau said.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].