The Fresh Market Inc. has revealed plans to close 15 stores in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
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.
“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 response to a request regarding the timing of location closures, a company spokeswoman told Progressive Grocer, "The stores should be closed within two to four weeks."
In 2016, the grocer closed 13 stores, in the process exiting four states: Texas, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
The Fresh Market currently operates 170-plus stores in 24 states. It holds the No. 41 spot on Progressive Grocer's Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.