Sweetbay closing hard-fought-to-come store in Midtown, St. Petersburg

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Three St. Petersburg Sweetbay grocery stores will close before the end of February, the company announced late Wednesday night. 

The St. Pete stores are among 33 “underperforming” locations in Florida that will soon close. 

St. Pete Stores to Close:

  • 6095 9th Ave. N 
  • 955 62nd Ave. S  
  • 1794 22nd St. S 

That’s right, the Sweetbay which “brought hope” to Midtown is closing its doors. Will any major retailer EVER break ground again in that section of Midtown again after this? When ground was broken on construction of this store, more than 300 people were on hand.

According to TBO, around 2,000 people will lose their jobs in Florida as a result of the closings. 

“They are simply underperforming stores,” said Sweetbay spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau. “Some of them, the leases were coming up, and just based on the sales of the stores they were selected.”

The Delhaize Group, which owns Sweetbay, made the announcement Wednesday as it released its 2012 annual report. 

According to the report, “We announce today store closures, the majority of which will occur at Sweetbay. This will result in approximately €130 million store closing expenses and related impairments of which €80 million will be incurred in 2013.”

“We remain determined to accelerate the transformation of our business,” Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group said in a news release. “In 2013, our focus will be on further strengthening our store brands, accelerating revenue growth, maintaining strict cost control and generating free cash flow.”

LeBeau, according to Bay News 9, said that “While these decisions are difficult, especially given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, these actions will continue to enhance the performance of our overall store portfolio and further enable us to deliver profitable growth and accelerate shareholder value.” 

Material from William Mansell of Patch is included in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.