The recent closure of Sprouts leaves a large void in Dunwoody’s Mount Vernon Shopping Center, where the grocery store served as the anchor. City officials say the site is still prime real estate for another supermarket.
“It’s a big loss for that center … and obviously a big hole to fill,” said Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling. “As for economic development, another grocery store makes the most sense there.”
Sprouts, at 2480 Mount Vernon Road, announced its closure in December after being open just over four years. A spokesperson said the decision to close the store was because it wasn’t performing as well as hoped. A Kroger across Dunwoody Club Drive in a neighboring shopping center did not play a role in the Sprouts closure, the spokesperson said.
“This is not a result of competition, and the decision to close our Dunwoody store was made by company leadership after careful evaluation of store performance in the context of the overall market,” Kailia Pang, spokesperson for Sprouts, said in a written statement.
Pang added that Sprouts has evolved in how it selects store locations as it expands across the country and “we sometimes find a trade area can be serviced more efficiently by simply consolidating the business to nearby locations.”
The Mount Vernon Shopping Center is owned by Branch Properties, which is planning a major redevelopment of another property on Ashford-Dunwoody Road, where a P.F. Chang’s restaurant is currently located. That redevelopment includes an anchor grocery store 25,440 square feet in size. What grocery store would go there has not been named.
The Mount Vernon Sprouts store was 34,647 square feet, according to DeKalb County property tax records.
The Publix grocery store in Sandy Springs’ Prado Shopping Center at 5630 Roswell Road also closed in December. Scott Amoson, the director of research at real estate firm Colliers International’s Atlanta office, said the competitive landscape of grocery stores in metro Atlanta is leading to these closings.
“All were reported as having disappointing and/or declining sales and were considered underperforming,” he said.
“I don’t necessarily think grocery store closings is a trend by any means in the metro Atlanta area as a whole,” he added. “I just think it’s part of maybe too much saturation of grocery stores in certain areas of our market. The ones that are well-located and up-to-date and offer the newest and best experience to meet customer preference will always be the winners.”
–Dyana Bagby and Evelyn Andrews