The Fresh Market’s New Store Returns to Grocer’s Roots
The Fresh Market’s latest store, in the Strawberry Hill development in Charlotte, N.C. – its only new location in 2018 – recalls the upscale grocer’s beginnings as a European-style specialty market, CEO Larry Appel said in The Charlotte Observer.
"Our store’s not a grocery store; it’s a treasure hunt," Appel, who took the helm of the company last year, told the newspaper.
The location was designed as a destination for unique foods from around the globe, gourmet charcuterie, fresh-prepared meals and a large assortment of produce – about three times the size of a typical supermarket’s fruit and vegetable offering.
Store features include a 24-foot "meals-made-easy" section providing meals and sides to cook or heat up at home, an outdoor patio with tables, a capacious bulk food section, a comprehensive international food section, and a gourmet cheese section.
The approximately 21,000-square-foot store replaces a smaller location, located nearby, which opened in 1991.
Earlier this year, the Greensboro, N.C.-based grocer decided to slow the pace of its expansion, and this past summer it revealed that it was closing 15 underperforming stores across the United States.
Under previous CEO Rick Anicetti, the company embarked on reinventing the fresh-focused food retailer’s center store by cutting prices and offering more grocery items, but Appel observed to the newspaper that to better compete against stiff competition from the likes of Whole Foods Market, Earth Fare and Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market was refocusing on its core strengths.
Speaking of the changes implemented by the grocer over the past few years, he admitted, “I do think that we may have confused our guests a little bit.”