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Marsh Supermakets looking at possiblities

Last updated on Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Indiana Grocers and Convenience Store Association President Joe Lackey says it’s not a foregone conclusion that Marsh Supermarkets will sell the company.

Marsh announced Tuesday that it has hired Merrill Lynch and Co. to explore ways to increase shareholder value, including the possible sale of the company.

Lackey says competition in the grocery business is "brutal". That's in part, he says, because so many products and concepts for grocery stores themselves are tested in and around Indianapolis. He says that's part of the reason the market is "over-stored"... that is, supermarket square footage in Central Indiana outpaces consumer demand.

Lackey says grocery chains also face immense price pressure from the "superstores" like Walmart, K-Mart, and Meijer. In fact, he says there's a trend among shoppers to buy staples in quantity or at a discount from the superstores... using the local grocery almost as a convenience store for bread, milk and other everday items.

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