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O'Malia's closing northside market after 33 years

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The O’Malia’s Food Market near 56th Street and Emerson Avenue will close for good this weekend after a 33-year run.

Parent company Marsh Supermarkets Inc. decided to close the store near Cathedral High School because it did not meet the company’s “requirements regarding sales, location and/or future growth potential,” spokeswoman Connie Gardner said in a statement.

The closure leaves only four locations for the homegrown O’Malia’s chain, which was founded in 1966 and had eight stores when Marsh acquired it in 2001. Marsh converted some of the stores, including one at 320 N. New Jersey St., to Marsh locations, and it closed another at 86th Street and Township Line Road.

Marsh is controlled by Florida-based Sun Capital Partners, which bought the local chain in a 2006 deal valued at $325 million including debt.

O’Malia’s opened the store at 5550 Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive in 1976. The store is offering 25 percent off remaining merchandise and will close after normal business hours on Saturday, an employee said.

The nearest grocery stores are a Kroger at 46th Street and Arlington Avenue, an Aldi at 52nd Street and Keystone Avenue and a Marsh at 53rd Street and Keystone Avenue.

“While it was a difficult decision, the Marsh management team is committed to improving our operating results and strengthening the company’s competitive position in the marketplace,” Gardner wrote.

The remaining four stores that carry the O’Malia’s name are along 126th Street in Carmel, North Meridian Street in Carmel, South Meridian Street in Indianapolis, and College Mall Road in Bloomington.

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  • I'm greatly saddened by this news but not surprised. The 'remodel' that occurred at this store earlier in the year absolutely ruined any glimmer of home for the survival of the store. This particular O'Malia's had one of the best butcher counters in the city and fantastic meat. The remodel of the store eliminated most of the fresh cut meat and instead shrink wrapped lesser quality on styrofoam trays. This is a wonderful area with affluent residents (Lake Kesslerwood and Ladywood Estates, especially). Given the success of Fresh Market in Broad Ripple, it would be wonderful to see a new retailer move in.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

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