CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Southwest Florida employees at a grocery chain that focuses on organic food are shocked to hear that their stores are closing soon.
An employee at the Lucky's Market in Naples confirms with Fox 4 that they were told that all but one Florida store will be closing down in coming weeks. Only the Melbourne store will remain open. Projected Lucky's builds will also stop construction, including the highly anticipated Cape Coral location.
The developer Creighton Construction announced in March 2018 the business was coming to Veterans Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard. After a year of conversations with Cape Coral leaders, they finally broke ground last September.
Shoppers like Bonnie Kostyk say they feel let down about losing the Lucky’s before they even got it, especially after the long drawn out process between the City of Cape Coral and the developer.
“I’m surprised since it was a big deal and they made a big deal about building it,” said Kostyk.
Mayor Joe Coviello said it’s an unfortunate circumstance, but hopes another business picks up the ball.
“The lease was between Lucky’s and the developer. It’s up to them to work out those details moving forward. But, if they can’t work it out, we would hope there would be another chain store coming into that complex,” he said.
Barbara Gomes said she was looking forward to having more grocrey choices in the area.
“I just live down the street, so it would be easy to get in there and out,” she said.
But, Kostyk said losing the Lucky’s could be a good thing for people living behind the plaza.
“I thought it was going to make more traffic for the people who live behind the shopping center, because that’s the only way to get in unless you go to Santa Barbara,” she said.
The chain, which is partially owned by Kroger, has opened 21 stores in Florida since 2015, and had 14 more planned, including one in Cape Coral that broke ground in September.
Last week, the Sun Sentinel reported that Kroger plans to divest its ownership share of Lucky's, leaving the future in doubt.
Lucky’s liquidation sales will start Wednesday at all Florida locations that are closing including the Naples stores. Employees say they will close within the next few weeks.