A Supermarket News story last month reported that The Fresh Market’s effort to increase store traffic through investments in price have not been successful, and same-store sales are expected to decline for the rest of the year. Supermarket News cited Moody’s Investor Service as the information source.
Moody’s recently categorized The Fresh Market’s corporate family credit rating as a very high credit risk and gave it a negative outlook.
According to a Moody’s analyst, increasing pricing pressure and new store openings in The Fresh Market’s operating areas will “make it very challenging to meaningfully improve profitability in the next 12 months.” The analyst quoted cited potential pressure from Amazon-Whole Foods.
In addition to the credit rating downgrade, Moody’s also downgraded the rating on The Fresh Market’s $100 million revolving credit facility, as well as the rating of its $800 million senior secured notes.
The company was acquired last year by Apollo Global Management for about $1.4 billion. The Fresh Market currently has 176 stores in 24 states.