Fresh Market shuttering Brookfield Square store

Dave Fidlin - Special to Conley News Service

July 11, 2018

BROOKFIELD — Specialty grocer Fresh Market announced Monday it is closing its two Milwaukee-area stores in the next two to four weeks. The move signals further changes at Brookfield Square.

North Carolina-based Fresh Market Inc. operates two stores locally — Brookfield and Fox Point. Both join a list of 15 locations in eight states winding down operations this summer.

In a statement, Fresh Market CEO Larry Appel said the company has been “executing a turnaround plan” in the past eight months after contending with slumping sales.

“We’ve seen great progress,” Appel said in the statement. “However, for a variety of reasons unique to each retail location, that progress is not evenly distributed. As a result, we have decided to close these long-term, underperforming stores.”

In the Brookfield area, Fresh Market faces stiff competition in the high-end specialty grocer space. Peer retailers in close proximity to the Brookfield Square location include Fresh Thyme, Metro Market, Sendik’s and Trader Joe’s.

The Brookfield location, 15895 W. Bluemound Road, is on a northerly outlot of the mall, which is going through a series of comings and goings as the retail landscape undergoes wide-ranging shifts.

Nearby Boston Store is winding down operations and will close next month. Vici Capilli also ceased operations late last month.

But the south-facing Sears site, which closed in March, is undergoing extensive redevelopment as new restaurants and entertainment venues are set to dot the landscape next year.

Fresh Market currently operates 176 locations, meaning the pruning announced this week is a small fraction of the company’s overall store base. The company has a presence in 24 states.

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management acquired the formerly publicly traded company in 2016 for $1.36 billion.