Thursday, November 29, 2018

[CLOSURE ALERT] Sprouts to Shutter Dunwoody Store in December

Phoenix, Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market, which entered the Atlanta market in 2014, informed staff at their Dunwoody store Thursday that it would permanently close at 5PM on Sunday, December 23.  The store, which was one of the first five Sprouts in the Atlanta area to open, debuted to crowds when it opened July 16, 2014.  The store opened in place of what had been a vacant anchor space but which had been previously occupied by an Ace Hardware and before that, Harris Teeter.  Kroger, which purchased a number of stores from Harris Teeter when the grocer left the market n 2001, never opened in the space, but continued to control the lease to limit competition to their nearby store.  The eventual Sprouts opening was seen as a win for the neighborhood.  
The closure, which sources indicate is due to disappointing sales and the imminent end of a five year lease, is reportedly the only closure the chain plans in Atlanta in the near term.  Liquidation sales have not yet started but could begin as soon as this weekend according to a store employee.   


The Dunwoody store is located in Mt. Vernon Shopping Center, bounded by Mount Vernon Road, Jett Ferry Road and Dunwoody Club Drive.  The store employs over 100 people, only some of whom are being offered other positions within the company. 

ToNeTo Atlanta reported in October that a new Chick-fil-A backed venture called Kefi is opening their first ever location in Buckhead in 2019.  The concept is multifaceted, intended for both children and parents, and is expected to include activities, work space and a cafe, among other amenities.  The Buckhead location will open in a former Circuit City/hhgregg, making it similar in size to the Dunwoody Sprouts.  If the concept proves viable, this Sprouts in Dunwoody could be a good real estate win for Kefi.  

Sprouts operates sixteen other stores, most in metro Atlanta, but also some in more exurban locales such as Peachtree City, Woodstock, Cumming and Augusta, among others.  The Snellville store, the company's first to open in metro Atlanta, is reportedly one of the chain's most successful locally.  In addition to the Snellville and Dunwoody stores, the company also opened stores in Norcross and Johns Creek during their initial 2014 launch

The closure of the Dunwoody Sprouts concludes a difficult year in Atlanta's upscale grocery market.  Earth Fare and The Fresh Market each closed two locations in Georgia and Whole Foods Market has told its staff that it will shutter its longstanding Briarcliff store next spring.  

Sprouts announced plans in late October to open seven new stores in the first quarter of 2019, with a total of 30 new locations on tap for next year.  None of the seven announced stores were slated for Georgia.  

Sprouts stock (NASDAQ:SFM) was down just over 4 percent after hours Thursday, likely on the news that its CEO would be leaving the company effective December 30, 2018.  Amin Maredia, who has served as the company's CEO since August 2015, is leaving the company to "pursue other interests," according to a release from the company.  Jim Nielsen, the Company’s president and chief operating officer, and Brad Lukow, the Company’s chief financial officer, will serve as the Company’s co-interim chief executive officers until a permanent successor is named. 

Before the news broke, the company's stock had been up a modest 11 percent year to date and a respectable 24.5 percent over the past six months.  

Are you surprised that Sprouts is closing in Dunwoody?  Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?  What would you like to see open in place of Sprouts in  Dunwoody?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

This stinks. This Sprouts is where I get my bulk steel-cut oats, and random other bulk snacks. I may have to drive to the Northlake Parkway store now.

Anon said...

This is my go-to place for fruits and veggies - so much better and easier than kroger. I wish they would reconsider.

Anonymous said...

too bad, the Peachtree Corners Sprouts is only about 5 miles away which might have impacted the Dunwoody store. I know living in the Sandy Springs panhandle, I was just as likely to go to the one in PC depending on where the rest of my errands were taking me. I was in the Dunwoody store Tuesday about 1030 in the morning, a lot of the pre-made displays were half-empty. I thought they were just having a slow day stocking up but maybe they have already stopped fully supplying the store. I ended up walking out and going across the street to the Kroger for what I was looking for. Being so close to a full service grocery store might not have helped either. I hope they do find something to go in there its a bit of an odd size, too big for most things but too small for a true grocery or other typical anchor store.

Unknown said...

HORRIBLE!!! My go to store in Dunwoody.

Anonymous said...

Sprout used to offer a great selection at competitive prices when it first opened. I think higher prices and limited selection contributed to the demise. The price for prepared/packaged food has nearly doubled and the soup section is usually empty when I go there in the evening. The produce/fruit selection is now very sparse. The prices for produce/fruits may be lower than Whole Foods or Publix but so is the quality.

Anonymous said...

For the love of God put in a Sprouts or Traders Joe's or Whole Foods near Cobb 285-75!

Unknown said...

Sorry to see Sprouts go, but would LOVE to see Whole Foods take its place.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see Sprouts go, but would LOVE to see Whole Foods take its place.

Anonymous said...

So disappointed to hear this. Really wish they would reconsider. Their quality of fruits and vegetables as well as meats were topnotch for the area.
The bulk section for nuts, etc. was outstanding. We loved everything the store had to offer. I often told people that the customer service was outstanding, better than you find at other grocers in area. Gonna really miss them. Only reason I would go to another one is if I am in the area. With our traffic, this Sprouts was super convenient.

Anonymous said...

I know that we have lots of Grocery Store options in Dunwoody, however, the cost and quality of the produce and bulk at Sprouts could not be beat. This is a real loss. Anyone know the reasoning behind? I heard that the property is actually owned by Kroger and that the lease on it was up. Can anyone confirm?

Anonymous said...

i really hate to hear this. I love sprouts even with the mess they are.

I live near emory and when dunwoody sprouts opened i drove all the way over there to shop weekly. now I fortunately have my own sprouts. i can see why sprouts might struggle. they hire people who dont care about their jobs nor customer service in their stores. Worst of all, corporate really sux, you call them about a suggestion (example: get your new weekly ad online on Monday's instead of tuesday because people want to plan their weekly dinners based on whats on sale, like we used to when ads were mailed or in the local free paper --we had advanced notice. also, I complained they had so many displays in their tiny isle that two separate customers can not get down the isles making for a bad shopping experience, and whats with their stupid sale tags....some are of one color then others of another color but for no reason I can figure out. I love color coding if it makes sense, also why only 2 trucks a week, 3x with smaller amount would be fresher). Corporate does not care about your suggestions.
All this said, you can not beat their prices if you know how to shop their deals WHICH MOST SHOPPERS DONT KNOW: with double ad wednesdays, weekend sales, clearance sales, 25% off all frozen food sales 4x a year, BOGO free, rain checks that dont expire, ETC. There are so many deals I cant name them all here. Its cheaper to shop their stores then to shop at crappy stores like Kroger and Publix. Lastly, They have really nice large selection (relatively speaking) of organic produce and I shop there at least 2x per week sometimes 3x.

daphne bertholf said...

This is a big bummer for Dunwoody. I love to buy fruit and veggies at Sprouts.

Adena Brumer said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to see a Trader Joe’s go in that location. Driving to Sandy Spring or to Peachtree Corners is a pain! I just hope the location doesn’t stay vacant forever! It was so annoying when Kroger held the lease for all that time and the location was empty! Shame on Kroger!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a Trader Joe's open in Sprouts location. They carry very interesting and different products and the prices are very fair.

Anonymous said...

I love this Sprouts! I am there ALL the time. Their produce selection and prices are the best! Please don’t close!!!!

Karen Goldstein said...

No! No! No!!! Total shock!!!!

Mrs. Collier said...

Trader Joe’s doesn’t like Atlanta, for some reason. If they build it, we will come. But they just snub their noses...

Anonymous said...

So disappointed that Dunwoody cannot support upscale grocery, shops, restaurants.
Residents have to go to chamblee, Roswell, Sandy springs.
What the hell!?!!

Anonymous said...

This closure is directly related to the employees of that location...when they first opened the store was fully happy , helpful people! Then they were eventually replaced with, let’s just say the unhelpful, sluggish, dont-want-to-be-bothered kinda folks from other parts of town....true dat! I went in there a few weeks ago and 1 nice man was working the cash register...3-4 of the others were goofing off in the front of the store sitting on those battery-operated scooters. Not one of them offered to help out. Better figure this out...otherwise more and more establishments will decline and close.

Anonymous said...

Residents in that area only have themselves to blame for them leaving. A store can't exist on hopes and dreams they need shoppers who will spend money. You not shopping at Spouts tells them they are not supported and for them to pack up and leave. So now they are leaving. It was such a odd location. Not even close to anything mainstream/high traffic. To go to this specific Sprouts and not living in this area I had to GPS/Google its location. I saw a old/nasty Kroger. Hopefully something will fill this space soon - maybe something like Lidl. I'm sure people in this area don't want an Aldi and Trader Joe's probability won't set up shop here. Lidl would be something different and reasonable price. Also it would be kick ass if Publix Greenwise or whole foods 365 knocked on their doors. Put your hands together and wish! One door closes and another one opens!

Anonymous said...

So upsetting. I love shopping at Sprouts,, PLEASE RECONSIDER,

Anonymous said...

Nooooooo!

Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed!! Sprouts is one of our staple stores that supplies everything we need with the allergies we have! It also carries things I can't get at Whole Foods!
I do agree, the energy or vibe there has been hit or miss as with the employees. One manager actually told me it was hard to find good employees. Not sure but still very bummed!

Anonymous said...

We live in Dunwoody right around the corner from Sprouts, yet have only gone a handful of times. There just isn't that much in there. It seems like half the store is taken up by vitamins, supplements, powders, energy pills and a bunch of other stuff that we have no interest in. The produce was far from great. There was simply no reason to go there.

Anonymous said...

The Forum on Peachtree Parkway is not that far from here for all of you wanting a Trader Joes....what is it 3-4 miles. Too far for the Dunwoody housewife to drive? For 10:02 am talking about "half the store taken up" by pills and powders! Yeah 4 aisles or .01% of the store is HALF! No wonder it's closing after reading some of these comments...

Anonymous said...

I got a horribly painful bug bite AND food poisoning from this location, so good riddance.

ImAndy said...

Sprouts is an "upscale" grocer? Have you ever been inside one? The chain seems to have an identity crisis

Anonymous said...

It's very curious that this area (Jett Ferry/Dunwoody Club) can have so many "upscale" homes and neighborhoods, but can't seem to support any nice businesses in the surrounding shopping centers. The Kroger here is disgusting. The restaurant choices are minimal and not that great. You would think that households with disposable income would be able to attract nice restaurants and stores. A Trader Joes would be great here, but if Sprouts couldn't make it, why would Trader Joes think they could make it in this location? This area has so much potential, but for some reason remains run down and progressively getting junkier.

Anonymous said...

I think this area, really needs an Aldi. It would be perfect for a new renovated Aldi, which needs less space, employs less people, and it would provide a simple alternative to Kroger.

Anonymous said...

The store you say is in Norcross is not. It's in Peachtree Corners.

Anonymous said...

@9:54. You are absolutely correct about the serious decline of that kroger and that area in general! We all know exactly what changed. In addition, following the unfortunate closure of the Northridge Kroger, things further eroded at the Jett Ferry location because of our new customer base...We beez gettin culturally ‘enriched’.

Anonymous said...

Well hopefully our community continues to be more culturally enriched so that more of your kind leave. You are a vile human being. What exactly do you require in order to make a grocery store acceptable? The kind of place where only a certain looking person shops? And our restaurant scene is limited I would assume from the WASPY group of people that don’t seem to venture beyond chicken salmon and mashed potatoes. Good ride a.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:41 WASPY = people with $$$$$$. The only color that matters is GREEN, which you obviously don't have.

Anonymous said...

Sprouts doesn't offer benefits or regular full time hours to their employees. That may have contributed to the low quality of people working there and the high employee turn over. The customer service and quality of produce has definitely decreases over the last couple years.

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