Marsh Converts Stores to MainStreet Markets Banner

INDIANAPOLIS Marsh Supermarkets here said it has renamed three of its stores in Lebanon, Franklin and Wabash, Ind., as MainStreet Markets. The company, acquired from the Marsh family in 2006 by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, previously had rebannered many of its smaller, traditional stores as Marsh Hometown Markets and its larger locations as Marsh the Marketplace. The stores being converted

INDIANAPOLIS — Marsh Supermarkets here said it has renamed three of its stores in Lebanon, Franklin and Wabash, Ind., as MainStreet Markets.

The company, acquired from the Marsh family in 2006 by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, previously had rebannered many of its smaller, traditional stores as Marsh Hometown Markets and its larger locations as Marsh the Marketplace. The stores being converted to MainStreet Markets are smaller, traditional locations.

“Consumer research has consistently indicated that while our initial strategy aimed to better position and differentiate our stores according to their size and varying consumer demands, the fact that both banners continued to operate under the Marsh name limited our ability to do so,” said Frank Lazaran, Marsh's chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

The new name will allow a more customized marketing approach for the stores, he added.

The move marks the first time that Sun Capital has removed the Marsh name from the stores following a long history of ownership by the Marsh family, although the chain has used a variety of banners in its 79-year history. In fact, some of the stores that are now Hometown Markets had previously been bannered as LoBill discount stores.

Other names the company has operated under included O'Malia's, a high-end banner the company had acquired in 2001, and Arthur's Fresh Market, a new concept the company experimented with briefly, beginning in 2004.

Marsh is also rolling out a MainStreet Rewards Card, which offers extra discounts for seniors and mothers through the Senior Savings Club and MainStreet Moms programs.

Conversions of additional Marsh Hometown Markets locations will be considered on a market-by-market basis, the company said in local press reports.

Marsh operates about 101 stores in Indiana and Ohio, with about half in the Indianapolis market.

About 90% of the store base has been renovated since it embarked on its two-banner strategy, the company said.

After Sun took over the chain in 2006, it shed several locations and invested in boosting performance.

Last year, Sun Capital reportedly put Marsh up for sale, but in August of this year said it was no longer seeking a buyer, according to local reports.