Specialty food grocer The Fresh Market has announced plans to expand its Greensboro, N.C., headquarters operations, adding 53 jobs and investing $5.4 million in the city, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The company’s current headquarters are split between two locations in Greensboro. “The leases on both of these locations are expiring, so it presented an opportunity for our real estate team to look at all the alternatives,” said Meghan Flynn, director of communications and community for The Fresh Market.
News of The Fresh Market’s expansion came after public hearings on economic incentive grants based on keeping The Fresh Market headquarters in Greensboro, which would bring additional jobs to Guilford County over the next five years.
According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the average annual wage of the 53 new jobs announced will be $70,113. The average wage in Guilford County is currently $47,955.
“A performance-based grant of $500,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate The Fresh Market’s expansion in Guilford County,” according to the department. “The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.”
“Greensboro has been our home for the past 37 years, and we are thrilled to be able to make a long-term commitment to staying in this community and be able to build on our vision,” said Larry Appel, president and CEO of The Fresh Market, in a statement. “We are excited to be able to unite all of our headquarters team members in one building and provide them with as welcoming a place to work as it is for our guests to shop in our stores.”
“We are in negotiations to secure a long-term [10- to 12-year] lease in downtown Greensboro at 300 N. Greene St.,” Flynn said. “This is subject to final negotiations of an executed lease with acceptable terms.” The move-in date is expected to be fall 2020, after renovations are completed.
Founded nearly four decades ago, The Fresh Market has grown to include 159 locations in 22 states. But while strategic initiatives to improve its financial performance are showing some traction, the privately held specialty grocer remains under intense pressure due to high debt levels and fierce competition, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service released in September.