UPDATE: Gordy's Downsizes, Festival Foods Adds Stores
The ongoing shakeup in the western Wisconsin grocery business has continued, with Gordy’s Markets selling three stores and closing two three others. In late July, Chippewa Falls-based Gordy’s announced it was selling two stores in Eau Claire (2717 Birch St. and 2615 N. Clairemont Ave.) and one in Tomah to rival Festival Foods and closing its Hayward branch. “The Gordy’s organization is currently in the midst of a restructuring of their business,” the company said in a press release. “This includes the divestiture of the Hayward location to reach a level of deeper performance and customer engagement with the remaining stores.” Then, on Aug. 2, Gordy’s announced it was closing its store in Chippewa Commons, 303 E. Prairie View Road, on the south side of Chippewa Falls. CEO Jeff Schafer told the Leader-Telegram that the company’s “plans for significant growth were just too aggressive.” A week later, on Aug. 9, Gordy’s closed its store at 3310 E. Hamilton Ave. (which was formerly Copps). At its peak, Gordy’s grew to include 26 stores across northwestern Wisconsin. At the beginning of 2016, it struck a deal with Mega Co-op to absorb Mega’s grocery stores – including the one on North Clairemont that will soon become a Festival Foods – in exchange for Mega taking over its convenience stores. The deal with Festival Foods, which already operates 28 supermarkets in Wisconsin, will be completed in September, local media reported.