A grocery giant is one step closer to making a bigger foot print in western Wisconsin.
On Wednesday, Festival Foods said it is still plans to acquire three Gordy's Market stores, including two in Eau Claire and one in Tomah. In August, the store's plans temporarily stalled when Gordy's announced it would have a receiver appointed. Festivals said it's hopeful the court will approve the acquisition in the coming days.
“We see the Gordy’s receivership as only a detour in the process to move forward with the purchase of these three stores, and we fully anticipate completing the process,” said Mark Skogen, the president and CEO of Festival Foods.
Festival Foods said once the sales and transactions are complete, it plans to begin updating technology, hiring and training associates, as well as updating the former Gordy's Market stores. If all goes accordingly, its location in Tomah would open November 10 and the Eau Claire stores on Birch Street and North Clairemont Avenue would open December 1.
Festival Foods is also restarting its process of hiring associates for the three stores. Our sister station News 18 reported in late August when Festival said staff were forced to cancel their Eau Claire hirings because there was no longer a firm close date for their deal with Gordy's Market. Festival previously said they would like to hire 150 employees for each of their two Eau Claire locations.
Posted July 27, 2017: Festival Foods has a major announcement to pass along.
According to a press release, Festival Foods announced Thursday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire three Gordy’s Market, including:
It's the second time in less than two years that Gordy's Market will have a new marquee. It was just a little more than a year ago the North Clairemont Avenue store location became a Gordy's Market after the company took over the store from Mega Co-op.
Festival Foods said it expects to close the sale on all three locations in September. Following the acquisition, all three locations will be operated under the Festival Foods banner.
Currently, Festival Foods operates 28 other locations throughout Wisconsin, including one on Mall Drive in Eau Claire.
Mark Skogen, the president and CEO of Festival Foods, said expanding into Tomah and increasing the company’s presence in Eau Claire are key opportunities for Festival Foods to better serve the company's growing customer base throughout Wisconsin.
“We look forward to becoming part of the Tomah business community and welcoming new guests there,” Skogen said. “We’re also excited to open two new stores in Eau Claire, which will give our guests in that town more options.”
On Tuesday, Gordy's Market announced the closure of its Hayward location, stating:
"The Gordy's organization is currently in the midst of a restructuring of their business. This includes the divestiture of the Hayward location to reach a level of deeper performance and customer engagement with the remaining stores."
Gordy's Market CEO Jeff Schafer said the store closure was a very difficult decision for the Gordy's family:
"Our appreciation and sincere concern for both our employees and loyal customers is something that we take very seriously."
Schafer also said their "plans for significant growth were just too aggressive...":
"It's time to get back to our roots and operate a smaller organization with the highest level of service to our communities."