Syracuse, NYNatur-Tyme, which was honored as WholeFoods Magazine's 2011 Retailer of the Year, shared the news that its Erie Boulevard East store will be closing. Natur-Tyme attributed the closure to reduced revenue and "insurmountable financial losses" triggered by ongoing changes in consumer behavior accentuated by the the COVID-19 pandemic, along with rising operational costs.

“The decision to close Natur-Tyme was extremely difficult, since this local business has been part of our family for more than 30 years," said Wendy Meyerson and Andrew Fox, the owners of Natur-Tyme, in a message to their customers. "We want to express our gratitude to our dedicated and loyal employees for their many years of service. They are the true heroes of the Natur-Tyme legacy! We also want to acknowledge and thank our many Natur-Tyme customers who shopped in our store over the years as it grew tremendously and relocated to three different buildings throughout the Syracuse marketplace. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of your lives and we thank you for your loyalty and patronage. Although saddened by this announcement, we are very proud of what we have accomplished in our efforts to improve the health and wellness of tens of thousands of customers over these many years.”

Customers share their gratitude 

Customers expressed their sadness on social media, with several lamenting what a loss this will be to the community. One posted shared: "Was devastated to hear my favorite store was closing. When I moved here 7 yrs. ago I was so thrilled to discover your store. Literally had tears!" Many customers, some who had been shopping at Natur-Tyme for decades, took the time to share their gratitude to the staff and owners for playing such a positive role in the wellness of the community.

A look back at the history of Natur-Tyme

As WholeFoods shared in its Retailer of the Year feature, the Natur-Tyme legacy began with Meyerson’s pharmaceutically inclined father and grandfather, who offered vitamins C and E in their pharmacy in the early 1980s, which was uncommon at the time. Her father, Stan Meyerson then purchased a preexisting, 700-SF health food store called Natur-Tyme, which had been run by another family for many years. He soon shut that location down and opened a small health shoppe adjacent to his existing pharmacy. In time, the pharmacy was sold, and the Natur-Tyme name was resurrected at a new location in town. Circumstances and a family history in health and wellness later put Wendy Meyerson at the helm of Natur-Tyme, along with Fox. Read more here.

Next steps for the independent retailer

The Natur-Tyme store will continue to operate with business as normal throughout April, and the team will send additional e-mails and social media messages highlighting Natur-Tyme’s Going Out of Business sale, which will begin in early May and possibly continue into early June depending on inventory. Store fixtures, café equipment, salon equipment, office furniture, and merchandising racks and materials are available for sale.

Related: Report: Weathering Economic Uncertainty in Grocery Retail

Mastel’s Health Foods to Live On With New Ownership

Top 5 Issues Impacting Retailer Success