Locals react to possibility of all remaining Marsh stores closing

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marsh says it’s looking for someone to buy the company or to partner with them. They say if they don’t find one, all 44 of it’s remaining stores would close.

This is the latest development in what’s become an on-going saga with the grocery store chain.

The closures could happen within the next 60 days.

Over 1,500 people would lose their jobs, and more would lose access to quality food.

“Makes me a little worried that they’re aren’t easy, accessible options for food,” said Ethan Thomas while out for lunch.

The concern is that downtown could become the city’s next food desert.

The grocery chain said competition is driving down sales. So much so that they may have to close their two downtown stores. Including one of their newest locations.

“We work here and we go there for lunch, a lot of us everyday. So I’m going to have to bring my lunch more often I guess,” said Taylor Jessup who works across the street from the Marsh on Capitol Avenue and Michigan Street.

That Marsh is on the ground floor of a brand new apartment complex.

All of these apartment buildings are opening up. I’m super suprised that this one would even be on the list of Marshes to close, it’s like the newest one and it’s one of the nicer ones,” said
Luke Spencer-Pierce while walking to lunch.

One of the chain’s older stores could also close.

The store on Alabama and Vermont Streets, known to locals as O’Malia’s, is also on the chopping block.

“It’s going to be a pretty big deal, considering it’s one of the only grocery stores downtown. I work right across the street, so it’s going to be frustrating not having a quick food option to grab some lunch to go,” said Thomas.

“Anytime we need food, this is where we go, so we’re going to have to go a little further now,” said Cartier Rachelle, who works downtown.

The nearest grocery store to downtown is the Kroger on 16th Street. But even going that far isn’t an option for some.

“The greater concern is how do we address food deserts,” said Rep. Andre Carson.

The scenario is similar to when Double 8 abruptly closed all of it’s locations in the summer of 2015.

Then, Congressman Andre Carson introduced the Food Deserts Act. It would create a loan program for farmers markets, and even local, independent grocery stores to step in, especially when stores like Double 8 Foods and Marsh go under.

He said he’s reintroducing that bill.

“There needs to be an opportunity where small businesses, and mom and pop operations and non profits, can expand their operations to meet these needs so folks aren’t relying on snack foods and junk foods,” said Rep. Carson.

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