Why the Fresh Market is closing stores
The cut-throat competition in the food retail space is forcing the Fresh Market to reduce its store footprint.
The company has revealed plans to close 15 stores in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin within the next month.
According to the Greensboro, N.C.-based grocer, “This decision was made following the completion of an organizational analysis and careful consideration of the overall growth strategy and long-term financial performance of the company. We do not expect any further store closures in the foreseeable future.”
The fresh-focused retailer has been working over the past few years to “reimagine” its shopping experience through such means as the addition of more convenience and health-and-wellness items, as well as price cuts. A Moody’s report suggests the changes have failed to drive store traffic.
“Over the last eight months, our company has been executing a turnaround plan, and we’ve seen great progress,” noted The Fresh Market CEO Larry Appel, who took the helm of the company last year. “However, for a variety of reasons unique to each retail location, that progress is not evenly distributed and, as a result, we have decided to close these long-term, underperforming stores. We will work to relocate as many impacted employees as possible to other stores within our footprint.”
Added Appel: “Looking ahead, I am confident this move will better position The Fresh Market and enable us to continue delivering our great-tasting meals, signature products and an incredible shopping experience.”
The store locations are in Snellville and North Druid Hills, Ga.; Peoria, Normal, Glen Ellyn and Lincolnshire, Ill.; Fishers, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; North Charlotte, N.C.; Bedford, N.H.; Hendersonville, Tenn.; Winchester and Charlottesville, Va.; and Brookfield and Fox Point, Wis.
In 2016, the grocer closed 13 stores, in the process exiting four states: Texas, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
Meanwhile Bloomberg reported Tuesday that a stockholder lawsuit against Fresh Market Inc.'s directors has new life after Delaware’s Supreme Court found that “material” facts weren’t disclosed when Apollo Global Management LLC bought the grocery chain for $1.4 billion in 2016.
The Fresh Market currently operates 170-plus stores in 24 states.