The Whole Foods Market in the SouthPark area was evacuated Sunday afternoon because of a suspicious package.
A customer who was in the Fairview Road store reported that Father’s Day shoppers were cleared out around 2:30 p.m. Many had to leave their groceries and cars behind.
Some 50-60 people were waiting on the sidewalk, and traffic quickly slowed down on nearby streets.
“The traffic was like gridlock,” one passerby reported.
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A customer contacted police about a suspicious package in the store. That led to the evacuation, according to a statement store manager Tony Sgro sent to the Observer by email Sunday afternoon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police determined the item posed no threat and gave the OK for shoppers to come back inside, a CMPD spokesman said.
The store, which specializes in natural and organic products, was open again by about 3 p.m. No injuries were reported.
“Everybody was safe. ... And we’ve opened back up,” said Sgro.
Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms