Marsh Supermarkets set to close Nora store in April

Marsh Supermarkets is set to close its Nora store on April 8 as the locally based supermarket chain struggles to compete with larger grocery rivals.

A store employee on Monday morning confirmed the planned closure. The 49,000-square-foot Marsh store is in the Nora Corners Shopping Center at 1440 E. 86th Street just east of the Monon Trail.

The location has suffered from a declining customer base since Kroger opened a $12 million store across the street in 2010.

The Nora store is the latest in a string of Marsh groceries that have either closed or appear in danger of shutting their doors.

IBJ reported in this week's print edition that Fishers-based Marsh has stopped paying rent on six Indianapolis stores, suggesting the chain might close them to shore up finances.

Marsh has not paid monthly rent at the locations since fall, according to lawsuits filed this year by property owners. They’re attempting to collect a total of at least $480,000 in unpaid rent and property taxes, in addition to other expenses.

One of the stores where Marsh has stopped paying rent, at Madison Avenue and Stop 11 Road on the south side, notified customers it will close on March 25.

The chain has steadily shrunk since Florida-based Sun Capital Partners acquired it in 2006 for $88 million in cash and the assumption of $237 million in debt. Marsh, which had 120 groceries when the deal closed, now has 67. Closing the Nora store and the six locations where it has halted rent payments would reduce the store count to 60.

Marsh, founded by the Marsh family in 1931, has faced growing competition in recent years from Kroger, Meijer, Wal-Mart and other larger chains.

Marsh anchors a retail center in Nora that has had troubles of its own. In 2014, U.S. Bank filed to foreclose on the shopping center, claiming the owner, an entity called Nora Improvements LLC, owed the bank $8.4 million. The case was dismissed in 2015, according to court documents.

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