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In a major retrenchment, Nash Finch announced this morning that it will shutter both its Avanza and Buy n Save retail formats, saying that “prospects for improvement at these locations and formats within an acceptable time frame are not sufficient to justify continued investment.”

According to a statement released by the company, “exiting these underperforming assets is consistent with the company’s commitment to continue to lower operating costs, improve its balance sheet, and focus investment and attention on core areas of its business that offer a better return to shareholders.”

In addition to three highly touted Avanza units in Chicago and three in Colorado – which were designed to appeal to the fast-expanding Hispanic demographic – Nash Finch said it would shut down five Buy n Save units in Minnesota, one Sun Mart in Nebraska, and nine EconoFoods stores in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

According to the prepared statement, “the 21 stores involved represent approximately 15 percent of the Company's annualized retail sales, and approximately three percent of its total annualized sales. The company expects that the store closures will be completed by the end of its second fiscal quarter.”
KC's View:
The closure of the Avanza concept must be particularly painful to Nash Finch, since the notion that a chain catering to the Hispanic community could be an enormous success was one that almost everybody believed.

The retailing world is an unforgiving place. Tough morning for Nash Finch, no matter how you slice it.