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Due to “changing consumer habits and increased competition,” Madison, Wis.-based Brennan’s Market will close its five retail grocery stores Sept. 30 after 75 years in business.
"Although we're all saddened by the decision to close our doors later this year, we are sincerely grateful for the generations of loyal customers and our incredible partners," said Tim Culhane, general manager and owner of Brennan's Market. "Without our outstanding staff, we never would have achieved our high level of customer service, and we will be assisting them with job placement support this fall.”
The company, which started in 1942, when Frank Brennan opened a roadside fruit stand in Monroe, Wis., encompasses five retail locations plus a cheese warehouse and packaging facility, and employs 150 full- and part-time workers.
Brennan’s Brookfield, Wis., location is being sold but will remain open along with the other stores until the final closing date. Currently, there are no firm plans to sell the remaining properties, but all stores will remain fully staffed and stocked.
Over the years, Brennan's Market built personal relationships with its growers and producers to assure the best possible quality, from harvest and production to delivery. For decades, the Brennan family and staff personally visited and inspected every farm, orchard, vineyard, microbrewery and cheese factory that they purchased from, including locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Italy.
In 1967, Brennan's Market expanded into Madison, in 1988 into Brookfield, and in 2009 into Oconomowoc, as Frank's son Skip took over the management of the business.
Brennan's Market saw a significant decline in sales during the recession beginning in 2008, and sales remained flat even as the economy rebounded. The growth of competition and new options for consumers has made the Brennan's Market business model unsustainable, the company explained.
"We hope that all past employees and customers we've had the honor to serve over the years will stop in and visit through Sept. 30 and enjoy our final Chin Drippin' Peach Season," Culhane said.