The 18 Marsh grocery stores that don’t have a buyer will start selling off their inventories Thursday, according to a company spokesperson.
And a CVS spokesperson says his company has “settled” a dispute with the two Ohio grocery chains that want to buy Marsh’s 26 other remaining stores.
This clears the way for the combined $24 million deal with a Kroger subsidiary and another Ohio chain, Fresh Encounter, to go forward.
The sales had hinged on whether the buyers would be able to reopen pharmacies in the rebranded stores. Marsh sold its pharmacy assets to CVS in April, and had agreed not to allow pharmacies in stores that had them for five years.
Now, CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis says the issue is resolved. Marsh’s pharmacy customers have been referred to nearby CVS locations. He says any future pharmacies in the locations being sold will not be operated by CVS.
Meanwhile, Marsh spokeswoman Angela Pruitt says in an email that the 18 unsold stores “will undergo liquidation sales beginning tomorrow [Thursday June 15] and continuing until the inventory is sold, most likely in early July.”
All but one of these stores is in Indiana – mostly in and around Indianapolis, Carmel, Lafayette, Kokomo and Muncie.
The sales and liquidation essentially seal the fate of Indiana-founded and -based Marsh. The company closed its other, less profitable stores in May as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Pruitt offered no timeline for Kroger and Fresh Encounter to close and take over the 26 stores they’re buying across Indiana and Ohio.
Kroger subsidiary Topvalco aims to purchase 11 stores in Indianapolis, Zionsville, Muncie, Bloomington, Brownsburg, Fishers and Greenwood for $16 million.
Fresh Encounters bid $8 million on four locations in Ohio and 11 others around central Indiana.