Thursday, October 19, 2006

marsh: we value you less than our previous owners did

locals know that marsh supermarkets are not only one of the largest (and arguably best) supermarket chains in the region, but marsh (and the marsh family) have historically been quite active in the community, sponsoring lots of community events, donating to charities, and so on. so it was obvious that when the marsh family sold their namesake company to sun capital partners, it would have a negative impact on central indiana.

the first shoe has dropped:

Marsh Supermarkets' new owner said today it plans to close 16 locations before Thanksgiving and will lay off or reassign 10 percent of the corporate staff.

The store locations were not immediately available, but those being closed include one Marsh Supermarket, seven LoBill stores, two O'Malia's Supermarkets, both Arthur's Fresh Markets and four Village Pantries. Seven of the stores are in the Indianapolis area, according to Frank Lazaran, the new chief executive officer of Marsh.

Lazaran said the stores are being closed because they didn't meet the performance expectations of Marsh's new owner, Florida-based Sun Capital Partners.

After the closures, the company will operate 66 Marsh Supermarkets, 24 LoBills, four O'Malia's and 144 Village Pantries.

the indy star site says this story will be updated, so maybe by the end of the day we'll know which stores are being closed. but until then, we can speculate.

in the star's talkback section, the people of new palestine are understandably upset that their arthur's market is closing, as they don't have many grocery options around those parts. only one actual "marsh" store is being closed, which could be anywhere. and the same goes for the village pantries: those things are so ubiquitous, it's hard to guess which branches might be shuttered.

but which o'malia's locations? sun would have to be crazy to close the one downtown, as there are only two supermarkets anywhere close to downtown... and as much as i dislike that downtown o'malia's, it's still cleaner & nicer than the downtown kroger. i'd suggest closing the one at 86th & township line (which oddly isn't listed on the store locations page): there are lots of other grocers in the area, perhaps too many. i know i'll never go to that o'malia's when there is a marsh and a trader joe's in the same neighborhood.

update: commenters have already posted much of this info, but here it is from the updated star story:

In Indianapolis, the soon-to-be shuttered locations are Lo Bills at 3919 Madison Ave., 1107 N. Arlington Ave and 3737 E. Washington St; O'Malia's at 2342 W. 86th Street and 7405 W. 10th St. Also closing are the Arthurs in New Palestine and the LoBill in Danville.

Elsewhere in Indiana, Marsh will close the Marsh Supermarket in Winchester; One LoBill in Richmond and one in Greencastle; the Arthurs in Syracuse; two Village Pantry locations in Muncie and one each in Kokomo and Chesterfield. The LoBill in Greenville, Ohio, also will be shuttered.

After the closures, the company will operate 67 Marsh Supermarkets, 31 LoBills, six O'Malia's and 148 Village Pantries.

note the corrected numbers. it would seem the star initially made the same mistake i did: for example, i checked the o'malia's store locations page, saw six locations listed, and assumed two of them would close (leaving four). but in reality, there used to be eight o'malia's stores, and the two that are closing have already been removed from the website. i assume the same thing happened for the other stores, which would explain the updated numbers (67 marsh - 1 = 66; 31 lobills - 7 = 24; 148 VPs - 4 = 144).

as i said, i won't miss the o'malia's on west 86th (at township line). there is a kroger across the street, a trader joe's a few blocks down, and a marsh a few blocks away in the other direction. that's actually in my new neighborhood, but there is a glut of grocers in the area, so i won't even notice the loss of o'malia's... unless the space sits there unoccupied and deteriorating, like the old atlas location (though i hear a new store will finally go up there next year), or, even worse, like the ghost o'malia's on north college near 106th... that place is either an eyesore or a beautiful example of urban/suburban decay (depending on whether you enjoy urban decay).


Steph Mineart said...

The Kroger downtown is planning on upgrading their store, but still -- I'd hate to see that O'malia's close. It's not my favorite place to shop by a longshot, but downtown needs it.

Hugh said...

From the IBJ E-Newsletter:

Five of the grocery closings will be in Indianapolis: the O'Malia on West 10th Street, the O'Malia on West 86th Street and the LoBills on Madison Avenue, Arlington Avenue, East Washington Street.

dj empirical said...

i'm just glad you can mention Kroger without calling it "Kroger's".

Bil Browning said...

I read on one of the TV channel's websites that the Marsh was in Winchester, my hometown. Which sucks, because they are the only grocery in town as far as I know. My mom worked there for almost 13 years. Her pension from March? $38/month...

stAllio! said...

there is/was an o'malia's on west 10th? strange... that one isn't listed on the store locations page either. were these removed from the site (already) because the stores are closing? if so, that's fast.

bella said...

"The Marsh supermarket in Winchester will close by Thanksgiving, according to information released by the company today. Two Village Pantry convenience stores in Muncie — at 2005 W. Memorial Drive and 3715 E. Jackson St. — closed this morning." from the starpress

Kaj said...

I'm really going to miss that West 10th St store. I'm new to the Westside, and I'm in there nearly every day. Damn.