Specialty grocer cuts back on expansion amid financial woes

Dean & DeLuca is downsizing its retail footprint.

The 41-year-old upscale specialty grocer has been quietly shrinking its portfolio (down from 42 locations to 18), canceling planned stores, and fending off lawsuits from suppliers who claim they haven’t been paid, reported the New York Post. (The company also has nine licensed stores overseas.)

Dean & DeLuca’s downsizing follows a period of expansion under Thai real-estate mogul Sorapoj Techakraisri, whose firm, Pace Development Corp., acquired the company in 2014, according to the report.

“He wanted to turn Dean & DeLuca into the next Whole Foods,” a source said of Techakraisri in the Post report. “But in the process he lost focus on the core business — including keeping the store shelves stocked.

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