The iconic Italian Payless supermarket chain has closed its doors after nearly 25 years in the country.
The chain’s owner and chairman, Sergio Picasso, announced on Monday that the chain was ceasing operations due to “ongoing health problems,” which were not immediately clear.
The news came as the chain has lost its second consecutive day of trading in Italy.
The chain opened its doors in 1982 and was known for its simple yet chic design, but the fast food giant had recently seen its stock price drop.
It closed its last store in 2011.
“This has been a very difficult decision to take,” Picasso told a news conference.
“We’re taking the decision as we know that in the future we will be unable to provide the quality of the products that we wanted to offer in Italy.”
A few hundred employees have been let go, and the chain will have to hire fresh staff and replace some equipment.
In addition, the chain is ending its sales in the U.K., Germany and France.
The company has not released a timeline for the closure.
A spokesman for the company told CNBC that the closures were due to health issues, but that it was not clear whether those were related to the recent food-borne illness outbreak in Italy or whether the company had already started planning for the next phase of the crisis.
According to CNBC, some of the stores have been closed since Monday morning, while others were closed on Tuesday.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.