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Fresh Market, 5328 Sunset Boulevard: Not Opening 2018   10 comments

Posted at 12:06 am in closing

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This one is kind of odd. After what was apparently a somewhat prolonged build, the proposed Fresh Market on Sunset Boulevard in Lexingtion was boarded up, giving rise to several local media stories, like this one from The State, that struck a reassuring tone, indicating that the store was still expected to open this Spring (ie: now). Conspicious, however, in the spin of those stories was a very tepid quote from Fresh Market corporate, which said essentially: No Comment.

Then last month The State reported that this store will *not* open in 2018 at all:

The company plans to focus on “improving core operations” at current stores, “so it has decided not to open any previously announced new stores for 2018,” according to a statement issued by the company. “Our focus remains on strengthening and growing our in-store operations, guest service program, merchandising selections, future offerings and, of course, our team members, as well as planning and executing new store openings after 2018.”

This strikes me as an extraordinary statement that has a blood-in-the-water feel to it. If the company had opened the stores it had been building and then put a hold on expansion, nobody would have said anything, but in these hard times for grocers, pausing (forever?) the opening of already (mostly) built locations sends a message quite apart from the bland words. I hope I'm wrong as I quite like the Fresh Market, but it doesn't sound good.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on April 20th, 2018

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10 Responses to 'Fresh Market, 5328 Sunset Boulevard: Not Opening 2018'

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  1. Yup, the same thing happened in Fox Chapel, a burrough of Pittsburgh where I grew up. There was a strip mall called the Fox Chapel Plaza where in my day a grocery store called Thorofare later turned into the "Community Mart". Then a couple of years ago, Fresh Market announced they'd move in to the space. Now a few months ago, they made the same announcement.

    "Blood in the water" indeed.

    Mr BO

    20 Apr 18 at 5:11 am

  2. Does anyone remember if the grocery store at the Clusters of Whitehall was a Fresh Market?

    ED

    20 Apr 18 at 12:44 pm

  3. The original Grocery store at Clusters was Winn-Dixie. When it caught fire, they never did rebuild it, and so they closed it and dont know what's in that spot now. The original Pharmacy that was there when it opened, I think was called "White Cross" before Revco bought it out..but that would have been 1970 ?

    Del

    20 Apr 18 at 1:38 pm

  4. Also at "Clusters of Whitehall" there was a Dodds dime store..but other than Dodds and a few other stores, I dont remember all of them now since that was 48 years ago..or whatever year it opened.

    Del

    20 Apr 18 at 1:40 pm

  5. I confess that Ted’s assessment of the situation was an eye opening read for me...a lot of it depends on what happens in 2019 with this one.

    ED is right in saying that the Clusters Of Whitehall (now called St. Andrews Center) had The Fresh Market at one point.

    I know there was a FB group trying to get one in Irmo and this doesn’t give much hope of such a dream coming to fruition.

    Andrew

    20 Apr 18 at 2:01 pm

  6. Was there a skateboard store in the clusters of Whitehall? Im thinking mid 80s

    Robert

    20 Apr 18 at 5:18 pm

  7. I remember Revco at the Clusters of Whitehall...it remained there until 1997 when Revco merged into CVS and built their store where they are now at Outlet Pointe.

    Now where Tuesday Morning was orginally (also Gregory's to Go) there's New York Bride & Groom.

    But back to this center, as the other stores take shape, The Fresh Market isn't going to be opening anytime soon and that doesn't give the best of signals to their corporate health...

    Andrew

    20 Apr 18 at 9:16 pm

  8. My understanding of the Fresh Market situation is that they were recently sold and after the sale was complete the CEO resigned. The new CEO is Larry Appel, a former Winn-Dixie chief operating officer and later a Senior Vice President of Home Depot. While the grocery industry is very intense and comeptitive right now, I am not sure I agree just yet with the "blood in the water" assessment. I did read where Fresh Market was ranked the 4th worst place to work by some business website called 24/7 Wall St. The one article indicated they were shuttering five older stores in areas that have become more competitive. I know Lexington has become much more competitive in the past year with the upgrades to Aldi, the opening of two Lowe's Foods, and the new Lydl (which, by the way, was quite unimpressive).

    James R

    22 Apr 18 at 1:43 am

  9. @jamesR
    Even Kroger balked at coming into Lexington. They’ve had three different sites picked out over the last few years. The one with the most steam was on South Lake Dr. they didn’t do anything with it but publix announced last year they are building right across the street from where Kroger was going to build.

    Robert

    22 Apr 18 at 10:32 pm

  10. Kroger had a location in Lexington but they closed many years ago, they were located were the county offices are now behind Lizard's Thicket.

    As far as Clusters of Whitehall, I remember the Revco, Dodds and Grocery Store, just wasn't sure of the store brand, thanks for confirming it was Winn Dixie.

    Other stores in the Clusters included a bike shop and my two favorite as a kid, pet store and Ice cream shop.

    ED

    23 Apr 18 at 11:27 am

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