Marsh Supermarkets Inc. on Thursday morning announced to employees that it will close eight stores, including five in the Indianapolis area, by the end of the month.
The Indianapolis closings are at 2802 Lafayette Road and 5249 E. Thompson Road, and at 6121 Crawfordsville Road in Speedway.
Locations in nearby Franklin and Lebanon also will shut their doors. Two stores in Muncie will close.
In addition, a store in Franklin, Ohio, will close.
“Customers have spoken and we are reacting to the realities of the markets and making difficult decisions to address the long-term health of the company,” Marsh said in a prepared statement. “This action is the first part of a three-year plan we are implementing this year to position Marsh Supermarkets for growth and profitability. Our strategy is to remodel, rebuild and re-banner our properties.”
Competition is fierce in the grocery business everywhere, as discounters such as Walmart continue to siphon off customers, and specialty grocers such as Whole Foods gain market share.
Marsh is operated by Florida-based Sun Capital Partners, which bought the locally based supermarket chain in 2006. It hired an investment adviser and solicited offers in 2009 to sell the company, but got no takers.
Marsh said in the statement that it is working with employees affected by the closings and, when possible, will place them elsewhere in the company. Employees unable to be placed will receive a severance package. It was not immediately clear how many employees would be affected.
Following the closings, Marsh will operate 78 stores in Indiana and Ohio.
Closing such a large amount of stores at one time is unusual for Marsh.
In 2011, it closed three locations in one month. They were in Connersville, Rushville and Shelbyville.