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River Oaks Grocery Store Shutters

Central Market's neighbor crashes and burns: New grocery store closing after less than a year in River Oaks

The Fresh Market Westheimer added Aug. 7, 2013 by John W.
The Fresh Market location on Westheimer will close next week.  Photo by John W./Foursquare
Central Market on Westheimer with cars in parking lot
The location underperformed, likely due to its proximity to Central Market.  Google Maps
The Fresh Market video tour
Three other Houston locations, including the one on Holcombe, will remain open. Photo by Joel Luks
The Fresh Market Westheimer added Aug. 7, 2013 by John W.
Central Market on Westheimer with cars in parking lot
The Fresh Market video tour

Last year, grocery store chain The Fresh Market roared into the Houston market with four stores in locations previously occupied by Rice Epicurean, but it appears that the expansion may have come too quickly. According to a report in the Houston Business Journal, the company will close its River Oaks location at Wesleyan and Westheimer next week.

"Following an in-depth analysis of our stores and the markets in which we operate, we made the strategic decision to close four stores," President and CEO Craig Carlock said Thursday on a call with the company's investors. "We believe these actions will allow us to allocate capital and resources to opportunities that are more in line with our historical returns.”

Although it only opened in August, the store is located directly across the street from foodie destination Central Market and obviously struggled to lure shoppers. Fresh Market's three other Houston locations will remain open. 

The other three Fresh Markets being shut down are located in Sacramento. Carlock added that the company will look to expand its presence in existing markets rather than trying to move into new ones. Towards that end, Fresh Market provided a statement to CultureMap that its plans to open in Webster are unaffected by the River Oaks closing.

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