Marsh in Shelbyville among latest stores to close

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Marsh Supermarkets Inc. has closed a store in Rushville and plans to shut down others in Shelbyville and Connersville by the end of February.

The decision to close the three stores leaves the local supermarket chain without a presence in Shelby County’s largest community for the first time in roughly 20 years.

Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson was unaware of Marsh’s plans when told of the expected closing.

“It’s a big surprise,” he said. “It will leave another big box sitting there. That’s the bad thing.”

The store in Shelbyville is located on East State Road 44 on the east side of the city in a shopping center anchored by Marsh. The complex already has four or five vacant storefronts and just one other tenant, Furgeson said.

Marsh will be the second grocery to exit Shelbyville within a year, leaving the city with Kroger, Wal-Mart, Aldi and the local Mickey’s T-Mart. The J.R. Western Supermarket on Miller Avenue ceased operations in February 2010.

Competition is fierce in the grocery business everywhere, as discounters like Wal-Mart continue to siphon off customers.

In a prepared statement, Marsh attributed the Shelbyville closing to a continual review and evaluation of company assets, processes and business plans.

“While the decision to close a store is never easy, the Marsh management team is committed to improving operating results and strengthening the company’s position in our marketing areas,” the company said.

As many employees as possible will be given the opportunity to transfer to another location or be granted a severance package, Marsh said.

A spokeswoman declined to divulge how many employees worked at the store, saying the company does not make that information public.

In Connersville, meanwhile, a store closing on Park Road leaves the east-central Indiana city with one other Marsh store, on Virginia Avenue, which will be converted to a MainStreet Market.

The MainStreet Market concept is an attempt to differentiate the grocery chain’s offerings in hopes of making them more marketable.

Stores in Lebanon, Wabash and Franklin were renamed MainStreet Markets in November.

Company officials said then that the move is a fine-tuning of a strategy launched in 2006 to distinguish the smaller Marsh Hometown Markets from the Marsh the Marketplace locations, which are more upscale and have a wider array of products.

Keeping Marsh in the store name made it harder for customers to draw that distinction, officials said.

An expiring lease for the Connersville store on Park Road helped prompt Marsh’s decision to close the store, the company said in a statement.

As many employees at the store as possible also will be given the opportunity to transfer to another location or be granted a severance package, Marsh said.

The Marsh store in Rushville closed on Friday. Following the slated closures in Shelbyville and Connersville in February, Marsh will have 97 stores. About half of those are in Indianapolis.

Marsh is owned by Florida-based Sun Capital Partners. It hired an investment adviser and solicited offers in 2009 to sell the chain, but got no takers.


  • another marsh
    there is another trashed out marsh in east columbus on hwy 7; bet they will be closing that one as well !!
  • It's stupidity on Marsh's part.
    The problem isn't pricing, or even competition, it's a lack of common sense. Build a store, let it sit there in disrepair for over 20 years, and what do you expect? They have continuously refused to put money into the store, and have consistently removed services and products. Meanwhile, there is a brand new Aldi, a new Super Walmart, and a Kroger store that has been updated twice in recent history. Who is going to shop in a dilapidated store, I mean there are holes in the floors for customers to fall in, when there are nice stores available as well.
    The Shelbyville store had potential to be a great asset to the company, and the service they provide is a value itself. It's no wonder it's being shut down though. Even someone with nothing more than a high school beginning business class could tell you that a business won't be successful if you don't continue to invest in it. This can be blamed on little more than years of stupidity from many different people in oversight of the company. It's okay, they are not the ones who have to pay for it though, it's the roughly 45 employees at the Shelbyville Marsh that do. I wish them all well in finding new jobs.
  • Unfortunate
    Marsh isn't very consistent from store to store. I like that we have a "local" (although now owned out of state) grocery chain. A lot of cities are over run with different variations of Kroger.
    Unfortunately, Marsh hasn't found a niche. They're not quite upscale (like Fresh Market or even Whole Foods), they're not exactly cheap, but I wouldn't say they are way out of line of most budgets either.
    Hopefully one of the better chains (Schnooks or Dominicks) buys them out instead of having them continue to die a slow death.
  • Marsh is too high
    Their prices are often higher than any other store. Plus, and my pet peeve is ''Buy one and get one free''. I don't often need two of something. At Krogers, if I want only one, they charge me only 1/2 price for it. That means an awfully lot to me. The store is getting the same amount for it. At Marsh, if you want only one, they charge you full price for it.
  • Marsh Closing
    The empty parking lot is exactly why I shop at Marsh instead of the Kroger next door. And I hate the two-way parking aisles at Kroger.
  • Blah
    I am very surprised to not see the E. Thompson Rd. Marsh Hometown Market on this list, although I imagine a closing for that store can't be too far off. Even on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the parking lot is empty while the Kroger next door is a madhouse. I have never cared for Marsh because I feel everything is drastically overpriced for no better quality.
  • Priced Too High
    Marsh continues to suffer from the weak economy which has made most shoppers more aware of retail pricing. It was much easier fo Marsh to charge 10-20% more when the economy was booming. Look for more closings in small towns where Wal-Mart has a presence.

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