The Fresh Market’s new CEO said Thursday that the company would move “aggressively” on new initiatives designed to strengthen its foundation and stabilize declining store traffic trends after reporting sales and earnings below estimates in the fiscal third quarter.
“The Fresh Market is a unique brand with enormous untapped potential and I am excited about the opportunity to guide the company's future direction,” Rick Anicetti, who was named CEO of the Greensboro, N.C., retailer in September, said in a statement. “As our management team and board conduct a comprehensive strategic and financial review of the business, we are simultaneously moving forward aggressively with a number of initiatives to strengthen our foundation, increase productivity, drive store traffic, and regain operating momentum.
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“With the holiday season fast approaching, we are making changes as quickly as prudently possible to our productivity, price optimization and brand differentiation to help stabilize traffic trends and drive sales during this key shopping period,” he added.
For the third quarter, which ended Oct. 25, the company said sales totaled $433.1 million, an increase of 3.3% from the same period last year, while comparable store sales declined by 3.7%, reflecting a 3.7% decline in store traffic. Net earnings of $10 million were down 32.9% from the same period last year.
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