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Fresh Thyme to close Lincoln, Omaha grocery stores

Fresh Thyme to close Lincoln, Omaha grocery stores

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Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market at 52nd and O streets will close next month.

Lincoln's Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market store will close next month.

In an emailed statement, Gerald Melville, the natural foods grocery chain's president, said the store will close Oct. 16.

"All successful organizations continually review their performance and look for ways to improve. After many months of intense focus and support of this store, we have made the decision to close it," Melville said.

He said the company will work with employees to offer them employment at other Fresh Thyme stores "if possible." However, Fresh Thyme also plans to close its two remaining Omaha stores, which will leave no locations in Nebraska.

Melville's announcement comes after employees of the store at 5220 O St. started telling customers and posting on social media last week that they were told the store would close.

The Lincoln and Omaha stores also disappeared from the company's website over the weekend.

Fresh Thyme opened the 30,000-square-foot Lincoln store in February 2016. At the time, it was viewed as the anchor for the long-awaited redevelopment of the former Villager Courtyard and Gardens Hotel site.

The Lincoln store was the company's first store in the state. Fresh Thyme later opened three stores in Omaha and one in Grand Island.

Fresh Thyme closed the Grand Island store, one of three Omaha locations, and a store in Ames, Iowa, in November because they were underperforming financially.

Fresh Thyme joins a number of other retailers that either have closed or are planning to close stores in Lincoln this year. That list includes Gordmans, Pier 1, Bed Bath and Beyond.

Lincoln stores that have closed or are slated to close

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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