Sweetbay closings bring massive discounts, crowds

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The parking lot at the Midtown St. Petersburg Sweetbay was absolutely full Wednesday afternoon.  It turned into a mini-Black Friday for grocery shoppers.

All on the news of a store clearance, and that the store is closing.

Prices were advertised as 50% off on everything except beer, and it brought people to show up at the store before it even opened.

St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster met with Sweetbay representatives Tuesday night, and although the store can't be saved, he told us "Sweetbay is motivated to find a vendor, a grocery vendor to come in."

Sweetbay told us several grocery stores have shown interest in the lot.

Linda Storey used to work at the Midtown Sweetbay. She knows the people here who will be out of a job come February 13, when it closes, along with two dozen others in the Tampa Bay area.

"A lot of them don't know what they're going to do.  A couple of them are going to retire.  But a lot of them don't know what they're going to do," she said.

The crowds surprised her.  "The amount of people for the 30th of the month is just amazing. Amazing. Because usually this time of month it's very slow."

She walked away with a cart worth $300. She only paid $150.

Sweetbay says shipments to closing stores have stopped and next week, discounts will be even steeper.

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