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INDIANAPOLIS-Upscale supermarket chain Marsh Supermaket Inc. continues its growth across the Midwest with a new store in Naperville, IL. Slated to open August 18, the store located at 59th and 111th streets will add to the company’s 66 Marsh locations throughout western Ohio and central Indiana.

Speaking at a recent ICSC conference in Chicago, representatives from Marsh’s said the company is looking for further expansion opportunities in the Midwest. The supermarket typically looks for boxes ranging from 45,000 sf to 65,000 sf, or six acres to develop, located in an income bracket of $90,000 or higher.

The company also recently announced its appointment of John C. Elbin as chief financial officer. Prior to accepting the position, Elbin was for four years vice president, chief financial officer, secretary and board member for Lilly Industries Inc., the Indianapolis-based specialty chemical company. He also served for 16 years in several management positions for Pet Inc., an international packaged-food company headquartered in St. Louis, and was chief financial officer for five years.

For the 13-week fourth quarter ended April 2, 2005, Marsh reported total revenues of $419 million compared to $376 million for the 12-week quarter last year. Retail sales in comparable supermarkets and convenience stores were above last year by 3.1%. Comparable store merchandise sales, which exclude gasoline sales, increased 1.8% from last year. Total revenues were about $1.8 billion for the 53-week 2005 fiscal year compared to just under $1.7 billion for the 52 week 2004 fiscal year.

While the fourth quarter comparable store customer count was equal to the year earlier, chairman and CEO Don Marsh noted that other grocery retailers have suffered because of restructuring or remodeling. “We will continue to distinguish ourselves from our competitors by delivering superior products and service,” Marsh said in a statement.

The threat from big-box retailers offering a grocery component has in fact led to a wave of supermarket renovations. Notably, Supervalu announced last week its plan to refurbish several Save-A-Lot stores, allocating $20 million to $30 million per store. Conversely, the Great Atlantic Tea & Pacific Co. is making strides to divest its assets.

Marsh operates 36 LoBill Foods, one Savin, nine O’Malia Food Markets and 167 Village Pantry convenience stores. The company also operates Crystal Food Services which provides catering, cafeteria management, office coffee, vending and concessions; Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers; and McNamara Florist and Enflora-Flowers for Business.

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