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    Sweetbay to Close Seven Locations

    Delhaize USA banner Sweetbay Supermarket will shutter seven stores in Florida, affecting up to 700 associates, most of whom will be offered jobs in other Sweetbay stores.

    Delhaize USA banner Sweetbay Supermarket will shutter seven stores in Florida, affecting up to 700 associates, most of whom will be offered jobs in other Sweetbay stores.

    Three of the stores are in the Tampa area, while the others are in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Englewood, company spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau told Progressive Grocer. They will close in the next six to eight weeks, she said.

    LeBeau said that the stores are closing for various reasons, including market conditions, geography, performance and pending lease renewals where Delhaize had to choose whether to form a new long-term lease at different locations.

    Sweetbay still intends to open more locations, in Tarpon Springs, New Tampa and Clermont, by the end of 2009, according to LeBeau. In fact, the Clermont store is slated to debut in the first week of February, she noted.

    Brussels-based Delhaize operates 1,594 supermarkets in the United States under the Sweetbay, Food Lion and Hannaford banners.

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