Earth Fare supermarkets closing all locations, including 14 in Florida, company says

ORLANDO, Fla. — Specialty grocery store Earth Fare just announced it's closing all of its stores nationwide, including 14 in Florida.

Central Florida locations for Earth Fare include Gore Street in Orlando, Narcoossee Road in Lake Nona, Murrell Road in Viera and SW 27th Avenue in Ocala.

This comes after a recent announcement that all Florida locations for Lucky’s Market will be closed in February.

In Orlando, Lucky’s Market said Aldi will take over their old location at Colonial Landing and Publix will take over their location on South Orange.

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A general manager for more of the locations said it was a shock and they don't know when the stores will close.

“It was disappointing because Lucky’s and both Earth Fare are new,” said shopper Jane Tkach. “Having seen before really high-quality products they take purchasing their products seriously. It's disappointing that they won't be around."

The company offered natural and organic items that will now be sold at a discount.

The North Carolina based company says it's liquidating because it’s in debt.

The University of Central Florida’s director of the institute for economic forecasting Sean Snaith said the market for specialty stores is over saturated right now.

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"There's a lot of competition," Snaith said. “The traditional grocery stores also offer some of the same organic products in their stores."

Snaith said these stores are also battling the same issues malls and other box stores have faced for years including competition from online options.

The number of people that will lose their jobs is unclear.

Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.