Boulder, CO—Lucky’s Market, the low-priced natural and organics products chain, reportedly will be closing the majority of its stores. This latest news comes after Kroger’s announcement in December that it would divest its interest in Lucky’s.
Lucky’s Market was founded in Boulder in 2003 by Trish and Bo Sharon and now has 35 stores in 11 states, according to the company website–but Progressive Grocer reported that the chain appeared to planning to shutter as many as 32 stores in 10 states and lay off the staffs in affected locations. Progressive Grocer referenced “a burst of social media messages, various local news reports and a source with knowledge of the matter.”
USA Today reported that 20 of Lucky’s 21 Florida locations, including stores in South Florida, Central Florida, on the west coast, and in Tallahassee, are closing, while a location in West Melbourne will remain open. A store in Missoula, MT, is also likely to close, according to the paper. In the chain’s home state, Denver7 reported that developers announced that a forthcoming location in Denver will not be opening.
Putting the news in perspective, Jay Jacobowitz, President and Founder of Retail Insights and Merchandising Editor of WholeFoods Magazine, said, “Lucky’s subordinated its expansion strategy to Kroger. Prior to Kroger’s investment, Lucky’s maintained a fairly disciplined geographic expansion strategy, staying in the mountain west from its base in Colorado, and close to the delivery routes of its primary wholesale suppliers. Kroger used its investment in Lucky’s to fill a geographic hole in Kroger’s national map; Florida, where it had no presence, and needed a response to an ascendant Publix.”
The website for Lucky’s Market currently spotlights that previously planned growth, listing 14 locations in Florida as “coming soon” in 2020.
“Lucky’s original come-to-market value proposition was gourmet prepared foods, with less consistency in ingredient standards for the rest of the assortment. Duplicating gourmet excellence under its original moderate expansion plan was difficult enough. Maintaining these standards under the hyper-expansion mode in Florida was probably doomed from the outset.
UPDATE January 23, 2020: Lucky’s Market issued a statement announcing that it began closing certain locations on Wednesday, January, 22, 2020, as part of its restructuring efforts. After exploring multiple alternatives, the announcement says, the company made the decision to close various stores and to reduce staff at the company’s support office in Niwot, CO. Read more: Lucky’s Confirms Store Closures; Outlines Timeline.