INDIANAPOLIS -- It's a time to grow for two independent floral chains acquired by Marsh Supermarkets here, and officials say the retailer's purchase indicates a new level of interest that supermarket operators are placing in a category that can provide substantial contributions to the bottom line.
Marsh, one of the country's largest regional supermarket chains, acquired McNamara Florist and Enflora, Flowers for Business, from the Engledow Group.
"[Marsh's] primary reasoning is to purchase a market leader and start at the top. They have aggressive plans to market McNamara by adding more stores," Barry Doss, president of The Design Group, a locally based communications firm representing Enflora, said of the flower purveyor.
The three McNamara stores, located in Broad Ripple, Clearwater and Carmel, all in Indiana, and the Enflora Design Gallery store in downtown Indianapolis, will continue to operate under their own names and out of a design center in Carmel, officials said.
"We are very pleased to bring these strong, established brands under the Marsh umbrella," Don E. Marsh, chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh Supermarkets, said when the deal was announced in March. "They represent a perfect fit for expanding Marsh in the Indianapolis floral market beyond our grocery operations."
"This gives everyone under the McNamara banner an opportunity. Engledow wasn't prepared to go in that direction [of expansion]. Marsh wants to be at the top of whatever market they're in. A few years ago they purchased a major caterer in the area," said Doss, referring to the retailer's purchase of Crystal Food Service, which provides catering, cafeteria management and vending service in Indiana.
Primarily, Marsh owns and operates several retail formats, including 70 Marsh Supermarkets, 22 LoBill Foods stores, one Savin*$ and 181 Village Pantry convenience stores in central Indiana and western Ohio. Besides Crystal, Marsh also operates Convenience Store Distributing Co., a wholesale food and grocery merchandise operation servicing 1,300 stores in a nine-state area.
The president of Engledow Group, Ed Engledow, said his company bought McNamara in 1989 and formed Enflora the following year.
"Both have been valued members of our family. In the 68 years since our founding, we have never made a major business decision such as this that wasn't based on our sincere belief that is was in the best interest of our clients and our employees," said Englewood.
He also explained that Englewood intends to focus more on its interior-plant leasing, exterior-landscaping, grounds-maintenance and special-events businesses.
"We are excited about the new possibilities for both companies," said Engledow. "The commitment that Marsh has pledged to the ongoing operations of Enflora and McNamara is a wonderful opportunity for both organizations to grow and realize even greater success."
The Engledow Group was founded in central Indiana in 1932 and today includes Engledow Interior -- Plants for Business, Engledow Exterior -- Landscapes for Business, and Engledow Events -- Special Occasions for Business.