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Fresh Market to Open First Stores in Ohio and Illinois

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Specialty retailer Fresh Market, which builds food stores to resemble European markets, is expanding into two more states north of its traditional operating area in the Southeast. The Greensboro, N.C.-based retailer will open its first Ohio store this week at the site of a former Big Bear storefront in Columbus, followed by a new store that will open in Geneva, Ill. in early March. Fresh Market announced last week that it will enter the Indiana market on Feb. 2 with a new location in Carmel.

Fresh Market currently operates 44 stores in states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Virginia. Its stores, which include perimeter departments and specialty grocery products, are on average around 25,000 square feet.

Fresh Market expects to open five to 10 stores a year, Eric Blaesing, director of community relations for Fresh Market, told Progressive Grocer. He said the company is looking for sites in Cincinnati and Cleveland, and is about to begin construction on a new store in Killdeer, Ill.

Fresh Market contracts with distributors and suppliers to deliver straight to its stores, and typically relies on word-of-mouth publicity for advertising.

The company was founded in 1982 by Ray Berry, who opened a small store in Greensboro, N.C.
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