Competition in the grocery space is inevitable, which means that retailers are chasing away every inch of square-footage they can find. Florida is perhaps one of the most dynamic of these spaces and recent news reports that Lucky’s Market is backing out of this hot market. The retailer announced that it is closing 20 of its 21 stores in the state by February 12 and discontinuing 14 new stores that were in process, as well as shuttering a relatively new regional distribution center in Orlando.
“We’re obviously saddened by the news. It’s a great concept; people loved the concept,” Jason Rief, Regional Store Director, told the South Florida SunSentinel. Rief was interviewed at Lucky’s Coral Springs store and said he worked for the company for four years and supervised openings of the three Broward County stores. “I have a pretty deep connection with the team members here and the community as well. I hired a lot of them and saw them grow. This is very sad for us.”
A spokesperson at the retailer’s headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, has not yet responded to the news source’s request for comment.
Lucky’s slogan, “Organic for the 99 percent,” is well-known and indicative of its strong following, one garnered not just with its farmer’s market-style fresh produce displays and interactive samples, but also mid-priced juices and prepared foods, meat, seafood, and a generous offering of health products and locally sourced packaged goods.
The news of Lucky’s all but exiting the region prompted a public reaction of sadness and frustration, with many Twitter posts showcasing love for the banner as it prepares to streamline its presence. Currently Lucky’s spans 10 states with 39 stores, including seven in its home state of Colorado. While the SunSentinel reported that there are stores in these other states that will be closing as well, how many and which ones remains unknown.
As with many business moves, it cannot yet be known what pulling back may mean for the banner’s future. If there is anything this news and its response has confirmed, though, it is that there is demand for what the chain has to offer.
Deli Market News will continue to report on what this strategy means for Lucky's Market.