In a cost-cutting measure, Sweetbay announced late Wednesday night that 33 "underperforming" stores in Florida would close in mid-February. Three of those stores are in St. Petersburg.
Thursday, Mayor Bill Foster released a statement about what the closings mean to St. Petersburg.
"After learning last evening about the proposed closure of three St. Petersburg Sweetbay stores, including the location in Midtown, I immediately assembled key staff members and property stakeholders to share information and discuss options," Foster said in Thursday's statement. "As of this morning, I had conversations with Sweetbay representatives and two meetings with staff and interested parties, and this will remain a high priority pending resolution."
St. Pete Stores to Close:
- 6095 9th Ave. N
- 955 62nd Ave. S
- 1794 22nd St. S
Patch readers had mixed emotions about the closings.
Oliver Katt commented on our story Thursday. "Well well well. One of those stores is the much-touted Midtown grocery. Their parking lot is almost always mostly empty. I wondered how long it would be before Sweetbay figured out it made a mistake. As for 62nd Avenue S., the staff is rude and the whole complex is noisy and messy."
Jeanni L. Stewart is worried about the job losses, which Sweetbay said would be 2,000 from the 33 closings. "I am sad to hear of any business closing, as it means more people without jobs. Sorry to also hear of poor training and standards at the Sweetbays that Steve and Oliver have shopped at. Here is hoping that those let go by Sweetbay find jobs easily and are trained well at their new positions."
St. Pete Patch Facebook followers had similar thoughts.
"Hard to watch grocery store options in lower income areas of town close. Maybe they needed to cater more to the clientele instead of using a cookie cutter model for their stores," Christine Truhol Swanson wrote on our page.
"I am VERY sad about this," Sheree Rensel wrote. "I shop at Sweetbay on 9th. That is MY store. I am very upset it is closing."