- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Officials of a grocery store chain with Wisconsin roots say the company will close its five stores later this year because it can no longer compete in today’s market.

The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/2u8QhOV ) reports the closure of Brennan’s Market will end the Monroe-based company’s 75-year run and leave 150 people without jobs. Officials say the grocery store chain will also close its New Glarus cheese storage facility Sept. 30.

“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, the company’s general manager and owner, in a statement.

All the stores will be sold, said Wayne Glowac, a company spokesman.

Company officials said business never recovered from the Great Recession and that sales stayed stagnant.

“The growth of competition and new options for consumers has made Brennan’s Market business model unsustainable,” company officials said.

David Livingston owns his own grocery consulting business. The former Roundy’s executive said the expanding grocery market left Brennan’s struggling for market share.

“All of these high-quality perishable stores have the latest and greatest,” Livingston said. “It was very difficult for (Brennan‘s) to compete. I think a lot of people forgot they were around.”

The company began in 1942 when Frank Brennan opened up a fruit stand in Monroe. He later added cheese to the stand. The company grew into its current form in 1967 when Brennan’s son, Skip Brennan, borrowed $10,000 from a bank to open a store in Madison. Culhane purchased the store from Skip Brennan in 2014.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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