Interesting to see Fresh Market close 15 underperforming stores across the Southeast, important to note none of which are located in Florida, however, this decision was made based off an organizational analysis and careful consideration to the company’s overall growth strategy. Fresh Market currently operates 170 stores in 24 states. The company has publicly halted expansion plans for 2018 and has decided to focus on improving the core operations within its existing footprint. Fresh Market is a great fit as a grocer in high ended shopping centers. However, in my opinion, I believe that the majority of people shop there for select quality items and prepared foods as opposed to a one-stop grocery shop. I love the store and will continue shopping there, however, I am not sure how they will be able to compete for the median grocery dollar in order to thrive and stay relevant against mainstream traditional grocers. If their plan is to cater to only the high ended customers, such clients that shop at boutique shops, they need to stay lean and very selective as they grow future units. If they want the traditional grocery shopper and compete for market share, they will need to work on more competitive price points and merchandise selections.
Fresh Market is a great grocer! Quality, high-end product. In today’s day in age, they are competing against the Publix’s and the Trader Joes of the world at more competitive price points with more extensive selections. I love shopping there for select items and prepared food but rarely shop there for the full cart, mainly due to cost and selection. Time will tell how this grocer fits into the grocery landscape going into the future!