The Fresh Market "Returns to Its Roots" with New Larger-Format Store

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Tue. October 9th, 2018 - by Robert Schaulis

CHARLOTTE, NC - A new 21,000-square-foot grocery store is headed to South Charlotte this month—a store that marks a return to The Fresh Market’s roots as a fresh-food focused specialty shop as well as a pivot away from the “best of both worlds” strategy that saw the small-format chain add household staples and center store offerings to its assortment.

The new store’s opening took place Thursday, October 4th, 2018. The Fresh Market celebrated the occasion with a ceremonial bread-breaking involving a 12-foot French baguette, free samples, live music, and the cracking of a 95-pound cheese wheel, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.

Larry Appel, President & CEO, The Fresh Market“What we’re doing in this store, and in all of our stores, is getting back to our roots as a European market and as a specialty market,” CEO Larry Appel told the Charlotte Observer. “Our store’s not a grocery store; it’s a treasure hunt.”

In the Observer’s report, Appel recounts the story of meeting a former Fresh Market shopper, only to learn that the company’s strategic shift toward traditional grocery had alienated the customer.

“He said, ‘When you decided you were going to be an ordinary grocery store, I decided I could shop at an ordinary grocery store,’” Appel remembered. “We had given (customers) a generation of thinking of us as a specialty retailer where you could find unique products. We tried to have the best of both worlds. And I think where the value proposition is in getting back to our roots.”

The Fresh Market is returning to its roots as a fresh-food focused specialty shop. Photo by Katherine Peralta

Rather than focus on everyday staples, the Observer noted, The Fresh Market’s latest location is intended to be a retail destination where shoppers can discover international foods, domestic and imported cheeses, gourmet charcuterie, fresh prepared foods, and an ample assortment of produce.

The Fresh Market’s new store replaces a 15,000-square-foot The Fresh Market location that was previously housed in the same development—the grocery chain’s first Charlotte location, which opened 27 years ago.

Will a return to it roots as a fresh-food focused retailer pay dividends? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on this and other important stories in fresh food.

The Fresh Market