Asheville, NC—Earth Fare, a specialty natural and organic grocery store and full-service supermarket that was founded in 1975 and has locations across 10 states in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, announced that it will begin inventory liquidation sales at all of its stores. The company said in a press release that pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), all employees have been notified of the impending closure of the company's stores and corporate office. Earth Fare said the company will continue to pursue a sale of assets, in whole or in parts, during this time.

As WholeFoods previously reported, earlier this year Earth Fare closed several locations.

"Earth Fare has been proud to serve the natural and organic grocery market, and the decision to begin the process of closing our stores was not entered into lightly," the company said in the release. "We'd like to thank our Team Members for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers, and our vendors and suppliers for their partnership."

Related: Earth Fare Latest to Announce Closings Lucky’s Enters Asset Purchase Agreement with Company’s Founders

Earth Fare explained that it had implemented many strategic initiatives focused on growth and expansion over the years, but said, "While many of these initiatives improved the business, continued challenges in the retail industry impeded the company's progress as well as its ability to refinance its debt.  As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis. As such, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to commence inventory liquidation sales while we continue to engage in a process to find potential suitors for our stores."

Regarding the inventory liquidation, Earth Fare said the sales will feature "a truly outstanding assortment of merchandise at very significant price reductions" and encouraged shoppers to visit their local store to take advantage of the savings before it's too late. Store fixtures are also available for sale.

Speaking about Earth Fare and other recent closings earlier this year, Jay Jacobowitz, President and Founder of Retail Insightsand Merchandising Editor ofWholeFoodsMagazine, said, “Natural chain store executives seem prone to the same strategic error of extending beyond their geographic supply chain efficiencies, and beyond the boundaries of their regional brand recognition." Read more of his insightshere.

*This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Related: 2020 Retailer Playbook