GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Fresh Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFM), a growing specialty grocery retailer, today announced that the Board of Directors appointed Sean Crane, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, has left the Company and has resigned as a member of the Board. The Company's Board of Directors has retained a national executive search firm to assist in identifying and evaluating candidates for the position of President and CEO.
Ray Berry, founder of the Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented, "The Board and I would like to thank Craig for his many years of service and significant contributions to The Fresh Market. Under Craig's leadership, the Company successfully transitioned from a private to a public company and experienced five consecutive years of increased sales and earnings. The Company is well positioned, both culturally and financially, for future success, and has a significant opportunity, through its unique and differentiated grocery shopping experience, to gain share in existing markets and expand into new markets. I further believe meaningful opportunities exist to improve profit margins through both structural and operational initiatives." Mr. Berry also stated, "The Board is focused on identifying the right candidate to lead The Fresh Market through its next phases of growth, while providing opportunities for our employees and delivering greater value to our stockholders."
Sean Crane, Interim CEO, is a seasoned executive with fourteen years of senior management experience with The Fresh Market, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (2012-present), Senior Vice President, Store Operations (2006-2012), and Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Development (2005-2006). Additionally, Mr. Crane served as Interim Chief Financial Officer from December 2012 to June 2013.
Mr. Berry continued, "Sean is a strong executive and a proven leader, with significant experience and knowledge of the Company and its operations. He has been instrumental in the development and execution of The Fresh Market's growth strategies and a key player in its success. Sean has the Board's full support to continue executing the Company's growth strategies and initiatives."
Fiscal 2014 Outlook
Based on quarter-to-date trends, the Company reaffirms its fiscal 2014 guidance, provided on November 20, 2014, of comparable store sales growth of 2.5% to 3.5% and adjusted earnings of $1.56 to $1.64 per diluted share. As a reminder, this guidance excludes anticipated store closure and exit costs of approximately $0.17 per diluted share related to previously announced store closings. Further, this guidance now excludes approximately $0.03 of costs per diluted share related to the aforementioned leadership changes. Including both the store closure and exit costs, as well as the costs related to the leadership changes, diluted earnings per share determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") are now expected to be $1.36 to $1.44. Adjusted earnings per share is a non-GAAP financial measure and should not be viewed as a substitute for financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.
About The Fresh Market, Inc.
Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. As of January 12, 2015, the Company operates 168 stores in 27 states across the United States. For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com.