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NC Earth Fare said it notified all employees of closings, but some say they found out online

Click here for updates on this story (WLOS ) — Earth Fare, an Asheville-based supermarket that opened its doors in 1975, has announced on Monday it will be closing all stores.

“Earth Fare has been proud to serve the natural and organic grocery market, and the decision to begin the process of closing our stores was not entered into lightly,” the company said in a press release on Feb. 3, 2020. “We’d like to thank our Team Members for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers, and our vendors and suppliers for their partnership.”

In a press release sent out on Feb. 3, 2020, Earth Fare cited financial stress as one of the reasons for its closure.

“While many of these initiatives improved the business, continued challenges in the retail industry impeded the company’s progress as well as its ability to refinance its debt. As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go forward basis,” the company explained in a release. “As such, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to commence inventory liquidation sales while we continue to engage in a process to find potential suitors for our stores.”

In the release, the company stated all employees had been notified of the impending closure of the company’s stores and corporate office.

However, some Earth Fare employees told News 13 they found out about the closing after seeing the news online Monday morning.

“I found out on Facebook. Yeah, it was like the first thing that popped up on my feed,” said Jeff Swart, an Earth Fare employee. “It’s definitely disheartening.”

Swart said he’s now looking ahead to what’s next for him.

“I don’t know how long we’re gonna stay open,” Swart added. “There was talks that the company might not be around a lot longer, like we thought we were gonna be bought out or sold or something, but we didn’t know anything until today.”

Some shoppers, as well, said they were shocked by the news.

“I’m kind of taken aback,” said Ron Hertwig, an Earth Fare customer. “You never know, economically, what people or what the decisions are made to, but yeah disappointed cause we enjoying coming here.”

In the release, Earth Fare encouraged shoppers to take advantage of sales at nearby locations.

“This is a whole life and ecosystem that’s an integral part of Asheville,’ said Trey Scott, an Asheville resident. “To sort of be in this unknown area for the next two weeks is gonna be very confusing to everybody.”

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