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Ahold-owned Fresh Formats announced on Friday that it plans to open two new bfresh stores in the Boston area, confirming previous reports that it would open one in Somerville and saying that it also will open a store in the Brighton neighborhood. This would give bfresh three Boston-area stores.

At the same time, Fresh Formats said it will close a bfresh store it opened in suburban Fairfield, Connecticut, saying that it proved not to be suitable for the concept. That unit will close by the end of April.

bfresh also has identified a location in Philadelphia where it plans to open a store, though no timetable has been set.

You can read MNB's coverage of the original bfresh opening here.
KC's View:
I remain impressed with the basic bfresh concept, and with how Ahold apparently continues to take a hands-off approach, letting the Fresh Formats division operate pretty autonomously as it tests new ideas.

I don't see the Fairfield closing as an enormous problem. They had a small-store format that essentially was designed for an urban setting, but wanted to find out if it could be adapted for the suburbs ... it learned, at least in this case, that it could not. Companies only can be successful if they have failures along the way, assuming, of course, that they learn from their failures. But if there are no missteps, companies are not trying hard enough, not pushing the envelope far enough.

I think we'll see Fresh Formats continue to tinker with bfresh, trying different elements as it looks to refine the secret sauce that differentiates it. That's all a good thing ... and I look forward to seeing the Brighton and Somerville stores to see how they've evolved.