What's In Store

Fresh Market to close one of its Charlotte stores

As part of a plan to close 15 underperforming stores nationwide, Fresh Market will soon close its north Charlotte store on Prosperity Church Road.
As part of a plan to close 15 underperforming stores nationwide, Fresh Market will soon close its north Charlotte store on Prosperity Church Road. Courtesy of Fresh Market

As part of a plan to close 15 underperforming stores nationwide, Fresh Market will soon close its north Charlotte store on Prosperity Church Road.

In a statement Monday, the Greensboro-based grocery chain said it is closing stores across Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. The decision to close the stores came after "an organizational analysis and careful consideration of the overall growth strategy and long-term financial performance of the company."

The decision also comes months after Fresh Market said it was slowing the pace of its expansion.

Fresh Market's decision to close its store in north Charlotte comes amid intensifying competition in the region's grocery industry, which has forced other chains to shutter stores. Bi-Lo closed six area stores this spring, for instance.

Longtime organic grocer Healthy Home Market this year closed its two remaining area stores. Harris Teeter closed its Ballantyne store in February.

Fresh Market has six stores throughout Charlotte, including one under construction in the Strawberry Hill development that will replace an older Fresh Market store nearby.

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"Over the last eight months, our company has been executing a turnaround plan and we’ve seen great progress," Larry Appel, Fresh Market's CEO, said in a statement. But that progress has not been "evenly distributed," which is why the company decided to shutter underperforming stores, he said.

Appel added that the company will work to relocate as many impacted employees as possible to other stores nearby.

The Charlotte store set to close, a former Food Lion location at 3024 Prosperity Church Road, will be having a clearance sale in the coming weeks. An exact date was not immediately available.

Fresh Market said it does not anticipate any additional store closures in the foreseeable future.

Fresh Market went public in 2010 but later sold itself in March 2016 to Apollo Global Management for $1.36 billion. A few months after that, the grocer announced plans to lower prices, boost its selection of groceries and add new in-store features, such as sampling stations.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta


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