Grocery Stores, Including Whole Foods, Are Closing Locations, Starting Now
Both large and small food retailers are on the chopping block.
In a pinch, most grocery chains can get you what you need. But for those who follow specialized diets, not all stores are created equal. Instead, you might seek out a distinctly healthier option. If you're someone who likes to shop at health food grocers or retailers who stick to local and natural products, you'll want to be aware of the latest closures. Whole Foods and other smaller establishments have announced that they're closing locations. Read on to find out which stores are shutting down.
Whole Foods shuttered a location last night.
Whole Foods was the first to shutter a location, closing up shop in downtown San Francisco, CNN reported. The store at Trinity Place in the Mid-Market neighborhood closed on April 10, with the company citing safety as the reason.
"To ensure the safety of our Team Members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being," a Whole Foods spokesperson told Best Life. "All Team Members will be transferred to one of our nearby locations."
The store has only been open for a little over a year, first opening as a "flagship store" in March 2022. According to the San Francisco Standard, the store had already cut hours in Oct. 2022 due to theft. The following month, it restricted bathroom use to customers only after drug paraphernalia was discovered.
No other Whole Foods locations are currently scheduled to close, the company confirmed.
The closure caused a stir.
While the closure is allegedly temporary, there's no set reopening date—and both officials and customers are taking note.
"I'm incredibly disappointed but sadly unsurprised by the temporary closure of Mid-Market's Whole Foods," San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Matt Dorsey tweeted on April 10. "Our neighborhood waited a long time for this supermarket, but we're also well aware of problems they've experienced with drug-related retail theft, adjacent drug markets, and the many safety issues related to them."
Customers also expressed their disappointment in the closure, but they, too, have noticed an uptick in crime. "They just barely opened up. I hope they open again," Allyn Mejia, a shopper who works nearby, told the San Francisco Standard. "I've seen security run into the store real quick before, like something happened."
In a series of tweets, Dorsey also claimed that the Whole Foods closure and "many other safety-related challenges" speak to a larger issue of the city's "police understaffing crisis."
Smaller stores are closing as well.
It's not only big chains losing locations. On April 29, shoppers in Leighton, Pennsylvania, will say goodbye to a local health food store, Country Harmony Natural Foods. The shop, located at the Carbon Plaza Mall, has been open since Oct. 1998, selling natural and organic goods, Times News Online reported.
The store's owner, Susan Bodder, told the outlet that customers were "very sad" to hear the news.
"Some of them even in tears," she said. "They've come to depend on [us for] their health needs."
Bodder added that her customers "will be very missed," and thanked them for their patronage over the years.
But there is some good news, as Phebe Howard, the current store manager, is purchasing the portion of the business that includes hair analysis and ear candling, according to Times News Online. She will continue to provide these services to customers in the area.
Another health food store is exiting New York.
Health Beat Natural Foods, a mainstay in Johnson City, New York, for the past four decades, is closing up shop also, WBNG reported.
The closure was announced in an April 6 Facebook post, which confirmed that owner Michele Moelder is retiring.
"Thank you so much for 40 years of support!" Moelder wrote, thanking friends, family, and customers. "My goal when I opened was to educate and help people enjoy a healthier life by providing healthier food – vitamins and guidance!"
The store will stay open until its inventory is cleared out, and it's currently running a 20 percent off sale. Customers wished Moelder well on Facebook, but made it clear that the store will be missed.
"This is a great loss," one user wrote. "Wishing you the best!!"
Another added, "I have relied on your store for guidance over the years. Great store, wonderful staff! Best wishes for your retired future!"