retail news in context, analysis with attitude has an evaluation of The Fresh Market's woes, suggesting that analysts believe that "company’s fundamentals remain challenged and new initiatives are needed to improve the situation."

The company's new CEO, Rick Anicetti, has said that he is conducting a top-to-bottom review of the business, and has suggested that there are four areas that require attention: Fresh Market's "operating effectiveness"; the "value equation with a goal of stabilizing and expanding comps through investments in services"; "merchandise and pricing"; and "brand differentiation and customer engagement via advertising enhancements and implementation of a loyalty program."
KC's View:
Anicetti, a retailer for whom I have a lot of respect, deserves some time to try and right the Fresh Market ship.

It is an interesting problem. I've been to various Fresh Markets over the years, when I've been visiting friends and it has been a reliable, convenient place to pick up some good wine or a great piece of fish for dinner. But I also have one not that far from where I live, and I never even think about it as an option ... there's nothing negative about it, just a kind of non-presence, even though it is a very nice store.

I tend to think that the company needs to do a better job of not just creating a more cohesive and distinct vision, but also of presenting that image to the consuming public. Tough job, but Anicetti is a tough guy. I have a lot of confidence in him ... if he has the time.