With the shelves at the Lucky supermarket in El Centro rapidly depleting ahead of its planned June 15 closure, hopes they would soon be filled by another grocer appear to be premature.
The store at 351 Wake Ave. has been a popular stop for more than two decades and is the only supermarket on the south side of the city of 40,000.
(Empty shelves and shoppers flocking to get sell-out bargains mark the final weeks of the Lucky supermarket in El Centro. CAROL HANN PHOTOS.)
In late May rumors began circulating that San Diego-based Sprouts Farmers Market was planning to open on the site but a company official declined to confirm that.
Store openings through the end of 2019 have already been announced, stated Kalia Pang, a company spokeswoman.
"We announced all our store openings one quarter in advance," said Pang. "There is nothing specific in the Imperial County Area. But if we do decide to expand to that part of the state we will reach out to you."
Sprouts plans to launch 13 new locations the second half of 2019, four of them in California, which will give it 340 stores nationwide.
Speculation also centered on WinCo Foods, Inc., a chain based in Boise, Id., that has stores in California and other western states. A company spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.