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Fresh Market in Fishers among 15 weak stores in chain slated for closure

July 9, 2018

The Fresh Market Inc. is closing 15 stores nationwide, including its Fishers location at 9774 E. 116th St.—although its stores in Carmel and Meridian-Kessler will remain open, the company announced late Monday.

The upscale grocery chain’s CEO, Larry Appel, told IBJ that the locations slated for closure were selected based on sales. “The stores that we’re closing today have been underperforming stores for a while. It may be the neighborhood, it may be the position of the store in the market, it may be any number of things.”

A liquidation sale begins Tuesday, Appel said, and the Fishers location will close within the next two to four weeks.

About 65 full-time and part-time employees at the store will have the opportunity to transfer to Fresh Market’s two existing local stores, at 2490 E. 146th St. in Carmel and at 5415 N. College Ave.

The retailer also has one store each in Evansville and Fort Wayne, and those stores will also remain open.

The Greensboro, North Carolina-based retailer was acquired by investment firm Apollo Global Management in 2016, and it has been working to execute a turnaround plan for the past eight months. Appel said The Fresh Market has seen its sales trends improve under the plan.

An already-competitive grocery market has gotten tighter since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017. Just this month, Whole Foods started offering discounts to Amazon Prime members nationwide, and it has rolled out Amazon’s Prime Now quick-delivery service in select markets, including Indianapolis.

But The Fresh Market’s store closures “were decisions that were based on our store footprint,” Appel said. “This is not based on some recent deterioration in trends because of competition.”

The Fresh Market entered the Indianapolis region with its Carmel store, which opened in 2005. The Meridian-Kessler and Fishers stores opened in 2008 and 2013, respectively.

The Fishers store is directly across the street from a Kroger that underwent a multimillion-dollar expansion last year.

Other closures announced Monday include four locations in Illinois—two in the Chicago suburbs of Glen Ellyn and Lincolnshire and one each in Peoria and Normal—as well as one store in Louisville, Kentucky; two each in Wisconsin, Georgia and Virginia; and one each in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Tennessee.

Another 161 stores will remain open.

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