Specialty grocer The Fresh Market is finding competition in the Houston-area market to be a bit bruising.
Less than a year after opening a River Oaks store at Wesleyan and Westheimer, the grocer announced it would close the location, which happened to be near H-E-B’s highly successful Central Market concept.
Company officials also said they would curb plans for expansion in new markets, according to reports.
The good news is, The Fresh Market intends to keep its three remaining Houston stores open and hasn’t abandoned plans to open its Clear Lake-area location, 1507 W. Bay Area Boulevard in the Baybrook Village shopping center.
Store officials offered this statement Friday:
“Following an in-depth analysis of our stores and the markets in which we operate, we made the strategic decision to close four stores. Three of these stores are located in Sacramento, California and the other is the River Oaks location in Houston, Texas. These stores will close within the next week. The Palo Alto, CA and Santa Barbara, CA stores are not affected and our plans to open a new store in Laguna Hills later this year have not changed. Our other three Houston stores are not affected and we plan to open an additional Houston-area store in Webster, TX later this year.”
The Bay Area Boulevard is actually in Houston and not in Webster city limits.
The Fresh Market, which bills itself as a specialty grocer, has about 137 stores in 26 states. It’s known for bountiful produce, a full-service meat counter, gourmet and prepared foods and an in-store bakery.
With its Baybrook Village store, the grocer is aiming for shoppers in Webster, Friendswood and League City, officials have said.
In November 2012, Rice Epicurean announced it had entered into agreements to lease four of its Houston stores to The Fresh Market, including the River Oaks location that is closing.
Do you plan to shop at the Bay Area Boulevard site?