Sweetbay to close three stores in Manatee, one in Sarasota

HERALD STAFF REPORTJanuary 16, 2013 

Sweetbay Supermarket has announced plans to close 33 underperforming stores in Florida, three of them in Manatee County and one in Sarasota, the company announced Wednesday.

The Bradenton stores at 5201 33rd St. E., and 8750 State Road 70 E., as well as the stores at 3410 U.S. 301 in Ellenton and 501 N. Beneva Road, Sarasota, will close by mid-February.

"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," said Nicole LeBeau, a spokeswoman for Sweetbay.

Also on the closure list are six stores in Tampa, 12 locations in Pinellas and Pasco counties, and three in Naples.

Not on the list are four other Sweetbay supermarkets in Manatee County; 515 Seventh Street W., Palmetto; 5805 Manatee Ave., Bradenton; 5802 14th St. W., Bradenton; and 5201 33rd Rd. St. E., Bradenton.

After these closures are complete, Sweetbay will have 72 stores in Florida, a news release said.

Sweetbay is owned by the Delhaize Group, a Belgian-based company that operated supermarkets worldwide. In the U.S., DelHaize brands include Food Lion, Bottom Dollar Food and Hannaford, according to its website.

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