Sara Lee will close all of its retail bakery outlet stores, including its Riverside location, over the next five months, the company confirmed on Thursday.
Company spokesman Mike Cummins told the Landmark that no date has been set for the closure of the Riverside store, located at 2704 Harlem Ave. The company will need time to negotiate an exit from its lease with the real estate trust that owns the property.
However, Riverside store manager Bob Chibe indicated that the location would likely close some time in August. He referred all other questions to the Sara Lee corporate office.
The announcement that Sara Lee is closing its 11 outlet stores, nine of which are in the Chicago area, comes just a week before the company will split into two different businesses.
Next week, Sara Lee will split into a European-focused coffee and tea company and a U.S.-focused, meat-centric company called Hillshire Brands. Sara Lee sold off its North American Fresh Bakery business to Grupo Bimbo in November 2011 for $709 million.
According to Cummins, the company’s efforts will go into producing and distributing the Hillshire Brands products, “not running a stand-alone retail operation.”
In all, 75 employees will be affected by the closure of the 11 retail stores.