GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Fresh Market here said last week it would explore more event-related promotions as it expands in California, after some of its recent new-store openings lagged historical sales volumes.
In Houston, where the company recently opened four stores almost simultaneously, it used both advertising and event promotions rather than relying on word-of-mouth as it typically does when it opens new stores.
“We’re considering a couple of things in California that are more event related than advertising related, where we can get into the communities more and build awareness with people and bring groups into the store,” said Craig Carlock, president and chief executive officer, The Fresh Market, in a conference call discussing earnings.
Customer feedback in Houston and California “has been good, especially around the fresh offering,” Carlock said. “It is also clear that our brand is new to these markets and we will have to earn customer loyalty over time.”
The company last week said second-quarter sales were up 13.3%, falling just short of analysts’ expectations. Net income rose 17.3%, to $15.6 million. Sales totaled $354.8 million, and comparable-store sales rose 3.4%, reflecting a 1.8% increase in transactions and a 1.6% gain in traffic. The quarter ended July 28.
For the 26-week week period, net income increased 15.8% to $37.8 million, on a sales increase of 13.1%, to $721.4 million. Comparable-store sales increased 3.2%.
The Fresh Market operates 136 stores in 26 states.
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