FORT GRATIOT, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – In a wave of unexpected news, Red Lobster has decided to shutter the doors of dozens of restaurants across the country. According to the restaurant chain’s website, 87 stores are temporarily closed across 27 states, with some of their kitchen equipment being auctioned online.

The announcement of the closures, reported by USA TODAY and other news outlets, is causing quite a stir at Red Lobster locations nationwide who are pulling up their anchors.

Kitchen equipment, furniture and more being auctioned off this week.

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TAGeX Brands, the liquidator, announced on Monday that equipment from 48 closed locations will be auctioned off this week. The auctions are currently live and will conclude on Thursday. Each winning bidder will receive the entire contents of the Red Lobster location they bid on.

Only one Michigan Red Lobster on the closing list.

In Michigan, the only Red Lobster restaurant on the closing list is at the Fort Gratiot location on 24th Avenue in southeast lower Michigan about an hour east of Flint.

While the Fort Gratiot Red Lobster has hit a snag, Michiganders need not worry about their next seafood fix. The state still boasts 26 other Red Lobster restaurants that are open and ready to serve up those famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits. From Ann Arbor to Westland, there’s plenty of lobster tail to go around.

The closures are part of a broader strategy as Red Lobster navigates some choppy financial waters. The company considered filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April and reported an $11 million loss in the third quarter of last year.

Too much free shrimp and other factors brought down the Red Lobster brand.

One of the factors contributing to this loss was the unexpected popularity of the restaurant chain’s Ultimate Endless Shrimp deal, which turned out to be a bigger hit than they had anticipated.

Red Lobster’s owner, Thai Union Group, in a statement in January of this year, said they were selling their minority stake with CEO Thiraphong Chansiri, stating that the pandemic, higher interest rates, rising material and labor costs have all played a role in Reb Lobster’s poor financial performance.

The seafood chain is not the only company navigating through the turbulent seas of today’s economic climate.

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It’s not just Red Lobster that’s feeling the pinch, though. The restaurant industry and other retail sectors have seen a series of closures recently, with businesses of all kinds battening down the hatches amid economic uncertainty. This wave of closures is leaving many communities without their local haunts, as companies struggle to stay afloat.

A reported “surge” of store closures has been reported by CBS News as being up 24% from last year. Their list includes Rite Aid, Rue 21 and Family Dollar who alone is closing more than 600 locations this year. Many reasons have been cited for closures including changing management struggles, bankruptcies, inflation and an increase in shoplifting.