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FISHER, Ind. -- Come Thanksgiving, there's not a lot that some Marsh employees and patrons will be thankful for. That's because the company has decided to close four of its Village Pantry convenience stores and 12 of the chain's supermarkets in Indiana and Ohio in an effort to improve the company's financial performance.
Village Pantry store numbers 405, 421, 557 and 576, located in Muncie, Kokomo and Chesterfield, Ind., will be closed before Thanksgiving, the company stated. In-store signage will inform customers of each location's specific closing date. All employees can apply for a transfer to another existing location or receive a severance package, although the company's goal is to place all current employees in surviving locations, the company stated.
In addition, one Marsh Supermarket store, seven LoBill Foods stores, two O'Malia's Food Markets and both Arthur's Fresh Markets will be closed as well.
While reviewing locations, the company found that these stores did not meet its requirements regarding sales, location and future growth potential. The company is seeking buyers or tenants for the affected stores, but does not know how long the sales process will take, it stated.
As a result of the store closures, Marsh's corporate office staff was reduced. All affected employees were notified yesterday and received a severance package.
"Today's announcement is a difficult but important first step in improving Marsh's profitability. We will continue to develop our strategic plan to move Marsh forward in sales and profitability," said chairman, CEO and president Frank Lazaran. "We have an incredible team of associates who are dedicated to providing our customers with exceptional service. I am excited about where this company is headed. We are committed to providing our customers with the best service in the most convenient locations."
He added: "While we regret that this decision will impact several of our associates, we will do everything possible to help them find another position within the company or give them a severance package to ensure a smooth transition for them and their families."
After the closure, the company will operate 104 supermarkets under the Marsh supermarkets, LoBill Foods stores and O'Malia Food Markets banners. There will be 150 Village Pantry convenience stores and Crystal Food Services, an upscale catering, cafeteria and restaurant management company and Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers, Floral Fashions and McNamara Florist.