The Fresh Market, Inc. announced July 9 that it plans to close 15 stores in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Virginia stores slated for closure are located in Charlottesville and Winchester. The one North Carolina store is located in North Charlotte.
The Greensboro, NC based chain said that the decision to close stores was made following the completion of an organizational analysis and careful consideration of the overall growth strategy and long-term financial performance of the company and reiterated that they do not expect any further store closures in the foreseeable future.
In making the announcement, CEO Larry Appel said: “Over the last eight months, our company has been executing a turnaround plan and we’ve seen great progress. However, for a variety of reasons unique to each retail location, that progress is not evenly distributed and, as a result, we have decided to close these long-term, underperforming stores. We will work to relocate as many impacted employees as possible to other stores within our footprint.
“Looking ahead, I am confident this move will better position The Fresh Market and enable us to continue delivering our great tasting meals, signature products and an incredible shopping experience.”
The Fresh Market was acquired by Apollo Global Management in March 2016 and has seen same-store sales declines in light of heightened competition from growing retailers like Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods, now owned by powerhouse Amazon. Last year, the retailer closed five stores in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Florida and Illinois. In 2016, it shuttered 18 locations in Texas, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
Currently, The Fresh Market operates approximately 130 stores with locations in 24 states, including in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Delaware.