Organic grocery chain Earth Fare is going out of business, making it the latest chain to unravel from pressure squeezing small supermarkets.
Earth Fare, which has around 50 stores, mainly in the South, said Monday that it would begin to liquidate merchandise at all of its stores. It will attempt to find a buyer for its locations and other company assets.
The closings are part of broader pattern of shrinking traditional supermarkets. Small and regional grocery chains are facing competition from Walmart (WMT), Amazon (AMZN), Aldi, Lidl and others. They’re pressuring traditional grocery stores to keep prices down. Shoppers are also buying more groceries online, forcing grocers to invest in new technology.
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Earth Fare was founded in 1975. The grocer sells natural and organic foods that are free of hormones, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and trans fats. That strategy was designed to help Earth Fare stand out in the cutthroat grocery sector.