Friday, March 16, 2018

[BREAKING] No Fare-Thee-Well: Earth Fare to Exit Atlanta & Peachtree Corners Stores

Natural foods grocer Earth Fare will soon close two of its Atlanta area stores, after just over three years in business.  The stores, located at the Village at Peachtree Corners shopping center in Peachtree Corners and Emory Point in Atlanta, opened in January and July 2015, respectively.  A third store, located at The Collection at Forsyth, opened in December 2015 and is remaining open for now.  


Asheville, NC- based Earth Fare also operates a pair of other Georgia stores in Athens and Martinez (Augusta) that will remain open.  

The store's tagline "Healthy Food For Everyone," puts it in competition with the likes of Sprouts Farmers Markets, Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market and Trader Joe's, in addition to traditional grocers like Kroger and Publix.  Earth Fare is just the latest casualty of the hyper-competitive Atlanta grocery market whose previous victims include Harris Teeter, A&P and Bruno's.

The Emory Point and Peachtree Corners stores are currently offering 20% off all in-stock merchandise with plans to close for good no later than Saturday March 31.  
Inside the Earth Fare in Peachtree Corners 

In early 2016, Earth Fare shuttered stores in Louisville, KY, Dayton, OH, Montgomery and Hoover (Birmingham), Alabama.  In all four instances, Earth Fare's statement about store closures said "the store's physical location has proven too much to overcome."

The Peachtree Corners store, which occupies just over half of the onetime Bruno's grocery store, measures 23,500 square feet with off-price retailer Tuesday Morning occupying the other roughly 20,000 square foot portion.  

The Emory Point store, which anchored phase two of the Cousins Properties developed mixed use center, measured 24,782 square feet and was the largest of the three stores the company opened in Georgia in 2015.  

The closure of the Emory Point store comes as little surprise, given how slow the store routinely was and the struggles it had to attract neighborhood shoppers.  Earth Fare is only the latest closure at the beleaguered center.

Casual dining chain Bonefish closed its restaurant at Emory Point in February 2014.  Upscale Italian eatery La Tagliatella closed its Emory Point location in December 2014.  Sweet Monkey Frozen Yogurt & Cupcakes closed at Emory Point in February 2015. 


Men's clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank and quick serve burger eatery BurgerFi both closed their locations at Emory Point last February.  

Marcello's, which had opened in place of La Tagliatella in February 2016, quietly closed last March.  

Earth Fare at Emory Point on opening day 

Women's boutique Lizard Thicket and tanning salon Solar Dimensions closed this past January.  [Solar Dimensions' closure was reportedly due to its merger with Palm Beach Tan which operates an existing salon at Toco Hills.]

Are you surprised by the upcoming closures of the two Atlanta area Earth Fare stores?  Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?  What would you like to see open in the two Earth Fare stores once they close?

Please share your thoughts below.  

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Farewell to Earth Fare ... stay tuned and watch Sprouts, The Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, etc. shutter stores as Whole Foods expands. Keep worshipping Jeff Bezos.

Anonymous said...

No Way Trader Joe's will shutter. Have you seen the mad amounts of business they do? Personally I'd like to see ALDI fill these spaces. Is 365 still expanding/planning stores?

Anonymous said...

@Anon @1:01PM - I think there are plenty of folks out there who are not obsessed with WF. While I'll go to one, I don't seek it out. I'll go to Sprouts or Trader Joe's over WF. Just because it's owned by Amazon doesn't make it some panacea. The few times I went to Earth Fare, I was one of less than 10 shoppers in there. The other stores you mention don't have those issues.

Anonymous said...

No surprise. Emory was a nice looking store but it never had any customers - service was indifferent and prices were sky-high. Agree about Fresh Market and to a lesser degree Sprouts. No one is ever in the Briarcliff Road Fresh Market and prices are ridiculously high for so-so merchandise. They'll have to pry Trader Joe's from my cold dead hands though. Love that store.

Anonymous said...

"They'll have to pry Trader Joe's from my cold dead hands though."

Statements like this just motivate Jeff Bezos to OWN YOU the consumer. Just watch as the news on your beloved specialty grocerers gets worse and worse ....

https://www.produceretailer.com/article/news-article/trader-joes-sprouts-suffered-most-post-amazonwhole-foods

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whole-foods-trader-joes_us_59d5115ae4b0218923e71feb

KER said...

I agree and count me as one of those shoppers. I've always found WF to be pretentious and expensive, but I'm not an organic food shopper. The TJs by my house kills it...

Anonymous said...

I would prefer a mini Walmart at the Emory Pointe E F location. You won't have to worry about the customers there. It will be more crowded than the entire population living in 5 mile vicinity of Emory Pointe. Just kidding!

Anonymous said...

Trader Joes, Sprouts and Costco have all been out performing Whole Foods before and after Amazon bought them. This is a matter of public record for 2 of the 3. And no, Amazon will never "own" the world or take over like some posters suggest. Amazon is riding a wave of major publicity hype that has the stock at such large bubble I hate to see it break. It's going to be ugly. Unlike Facebook, Google, Apple, Tencent, Alibaba, Microsoft etc. Amazon doesn't make any money. That's right they are not profitable. Their entire ecommerce business is a scam that is built on adding more customers and growing revenue. But its not profitable or sustainable. You will see..

Unknown said...

Emory Point is basically a failure as a retail center and I don't see this changing. The restaurants The General Muir, Tin Lizzy and Marlows seem to do well but that is all. Maybe they need to convert some of the vacant retail space to medical office use. Overall the property was poorly leased. Suburban tenants that did not appeal to the ITP market

Anonymous said...

I think it's safe to say Emory Point is even more of a disaster than Town Brookhaven.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Emory Point sold to some big PE firm last year and that there are a lot cool plans. New tenants WiFi, Music, Entertainment etc. Don’t know the extent of it but I love that Desta place that is about to open. We usually go to their other one on Briarcliff and Clairmont but this one will be much closer. They have a 2 hour wait on weekends. WTH? It’s good but 2 hours... I think the old owner got the leasing completely wrong. They put in suburban chains that we don’t want. We need more Desta and General Muirs, Clearly Earth Fare was not a location issue. Both stores that closed were awful. I think this could be a great opportunity to transform this property. I hope they do it as I work across the street. LOL

Anonymous said...

As a former Sprouts supply chain employee and Trader Joe’s employee I can say in full confidence that there will be zero store closings for either company. If anything there will be WFM store closings due to Amazon wanting to control the grocery delivery market. But I’m sure whichever reliable sources you get this info from probably know better than I do.

The Earth Fare store closings seem to be the result of poor location planning. They just need a better Real Estate partner to strategize their location placements better.

Unknown said...

No surprise. Earth Fare provided nothing special at accelerated prices. Fresh Market is next. I never go to Whole Foods-no significant reward for high prices. Remember they were in financial difficulty before Amazon swept in. Sprouts is the best. Fresh and reasonable. TJ? Only good for frozen food.

Anonymous said...

Their stores closings have nothing to do with Whole Foods, Sprouts, TJ's etc. Earth Fare was just way way too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Emory Point is a disappointment. It’s really too bad. I’m guessing rent is so high that no good business can open up and survive. Aside from General Muir (which is fantastic) the restaurants are terrible. To be successful, rents need to be in reach of small business owners who will be invested in their business. As it is, only chains can afford to go in, and they evidently don’t pay enough to breed loyalty or quality.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's isn't going ANYWHERE. They know what they are doing and is why they have similar, sometimes higher sales/SF than Whole Foods.

I occasionally stopped in the PC Earth Fare and found it difficult to come up with reasons to keep doing so with Trader Joe's, Sprouts and WF also within my grocery shopping sphere. Also there NEVER more than 5 shoppers in there.

Anonymous said...

Whoah Desta is opening at Emory Point? I LOVE that place. I travel to CDC often on business and we go there all the time. Can’t wait for that. Hope they get more places like this. We really need good Vietnamese over here. I would LOVE an H-Mart or something similar. need something good there.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the store per se. The issue is that the area is not remotely walkable. There's nothing enticing enough to make me give up my parking space if I'm working on Emory's campus. The Decatur area is now glutted with fancy grocery stores. I'm not going to get stuck in Emory/CDC traffic over it. It's a similar issue to Emory Village. Can't keep anything open there either.

Anonymous said...

Lots of commenters possessed by Trader Joe's. Typically when passing by all I see are overweight zombies walking in and out of their store. Well at least you aren't lining Jeff Bezos pockets.

Anonymous said...

Once we realized the parking meters at EmoryPoint were fake, we shopped/ate there more often. But, it pains me to see elderly people from out of town fussing with these phony meters before they eat at General Muir.

Anonymous said...

Surprised they lasted this long and not sad to see them go. As some of the other commenters have said, they were pricey and offered nothing that other shops do better for less.

I went there many times wanting to get a prepared meal, but nothing ever looked good, and more recently nothing even looked fresh. The field is too competitive to be that mediocre.

Unknown said...

It appears that whoever did the leasing for Cousins at Emory Point simply did their prospecting at Cousins existing "The Avenues" centers OTP. Basically just duplicated a surban "Avenues" project in an ITP location. Big mistake. But I guess the leasing agent made a nice commission. Totally misread the market.
Now with all the pressure on retail and the property being "flagged" as a poor performer I don't see a very bright future here retail wise
And yes EP is a bigger failure than Town Brookhaven

Lyndsey Rudder said...

Not surprised at all Earth Fare at emory is closing. They had the WORSE service ever and the employees were terrible. We would routinely complain to the manager about how bad the staff was and how they routinely missed out on sales due to their slow staff. This store is closing because of poor staff and management who were out paced and worked by other local grocery chains.

Anonymous said...

Would the poster with the Jeff Bezos/anti Trader Joe obsession kindly share where he or she does his shopping? I don't get where you're coming from. Either you subsist on heirloom kale and quinoa grown on your backyard organic farm or you are a shill for Walmart corporate trying to run down the competiton. This obese grocery shopper would appreciate some enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

Love it Anon @ 8:26. Was wondering the same thing. He can have chickens running around his yard too!

Anonymous said...

^PROOF^ The white privilege Trader Joes worshippers - your comments are deplorable

Anonymous said...

First, I like the GD reference in your headline... and I like Whole Foods and believe it will be relevant for a very long time. Its the only large scale food retailer that actually understands what they are selling... and that goes for the shelf stockers too.

Second, Sprouts will definitely fail (in my opinion).. but it will take several years because their performance is too clouded by the their rapid expansion business plan. Its surprisingly difficult to understand how their P/E and balance sheets are working... so much so that everyone assumes they are crushing it, but my assumption is they are not.

Third, Trader Joes will always compete and always have a slice of market share. Their culture and pricing win customers.

- Jack S from Wichita

Anonymous said...

I cook a lot and like good food. I live near Earth Fare (Emory) and tried to support it at first because they claimed to buy from local farmers but I rarely saw any local products! And organic foods are very expensive. But, I have to defend WF because their fresh meats, fish and seafood are better than TJs, Publix or FM. They also have the best cheese selection as well as quality deli meats. Publix has the best baked goods and TJs has unique offerings but I don't love their produce.

Anonymous said...

@
"Lots of commenters possessed by Trader Joe's. Typically when passing by all I see are overweight zombies walking in and out of their store. "

I'm not possessed by Trader Joe's but the products and value they offer appeals to me so I shop there. What concern is it of yours where I choose to shop or the size of my waist line?

Anonymous said...

"What concern is it of yours where I choose to shop or the size of my waist line?"

Because YOUr ILK demand everyone else pay or subsidize for your lifestyle mistakes via socialized medicine, etc. White privilege problems while the real poor suffer.

Anonymous said...

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/02/trader-joes-racism-scandal-no-one-talking-about/357969/

Anonymous said...

"^PROOF^ The white privilege Trader Joes worshippers - your comments are deplorable"

WHAT???? Clearly your definition of "deplorable" and the real definition differ.

Howard said...

I went to college in NC and was Earth Fare obsessed. The one in my college town was an old grocery store that they converted. I remember saving my money (not my parents) just so I could shop there because their produce and grocery items were so much better than what I could get. They carried tons of local items ranging from produce to meat. They had one of the best beer selections in town filled with local and regional brews.

With that being said, I have been so disappointed by these 2 locations. From the service, to small produce sections, to what I feel is huge increases in prices. It hasn't lived up to my expectations at all. I have to go out of my way to shop there and it's just not worth it. I'll stick with the Sprouts, Aldi, and Publix that are closer to me instead.

Anonymous said...

Howard's viewpoint is most likely the most accurate. Earth Fare expanded out of their sweet spot of success. Same thing can be said for NC based Harris-Teeter, they expanded here to ATL years ago and could not make it. Now HT is scaled back within its original regional enclave and owned by Kroger. Lidl had to curtail their lofty expansion into the US market. Last but not least, the predictable demands for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods to build in every middle class neighborhood. These stores know that customers will travel miles out of there way to shop these stores - they don't expand because they know they have you hooked.

Meredith F. said...

I'm not obsessed with WF, but I'm loving my deliveries from there and from Sprouts via Amazon Prime. I could see this affecting the amount of foot traffic in any of these stores. It will hurt TJs more as they don't have a delivery service at present.

Anonymous said...

These comments are a prime example of American entitlement and laziness. Everything must be delivered to you at a hefty price and most of these people don't have any safety net of savings in the bank. People are entitled, in debt and a paycheck away from being flat broke. Amazon does not make money, and obviously neither do many of you. This business model is going to go BUST and you people are going to be forced to be civilized and social and drag your lazy butts into a brick and mortar store.

Anonymous said...

I'm a CDC contractor, and I go to Earth Fare for lunch several times a week. Yes, their prices are sky-high (EP rent). Yes, it's a very small footprint and thus their selections are very limited. Yes, they had severe problems finding and keeping good employees and had a LOT of bad ones.

But at least for the first two years they were in business, you could get a good, healthy lunch from the deli section for about half what you'd pay for something similar at F2O or Muir (without all the added sodium).

And if you think their prices were high...stuff like yogurt and smoothies at either CDC cafeteria is already half again as much, and take a guess how Earth Fare's closure right across the street will affect cafeteria prices.

I hope they get another "food mart" in there, but I agree that the whole property is in a really bad location for anyone other than CDCers and people who work in the remote Emory offices within a block or two of the Point.