Mar 08, 2011

PriceRite to Open 1st Maryland Store

PriceRite's inaugural Maryland store is set to open in the Woodlawn section of Baltimore on Sunday, March 13 at 8 a.m. A formal ceremony marking the debut of the 37,000-square-foot location at 6606 Security Boulevard within the Meadows Shopping Center will take place Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11:30 a.m., with such local luminaries as County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, County Councilman Kenneth N. Oliver, and various civic and community leaders slated to attend.

The new store replaces a Food King Supermarket, a local independent with two locations remaining in the Baltimore area, according to regional industry observer Jeremy Diamond of the Diamond Group in Baltimore.

PriceRite, a wholly owned discount banner subsidiary of Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., a retail cooperative whose members operate ShopRite stores across the Northeast, offers a full-service, expanded produce department and a self-service format encompassing packaged meats, baked goods, a range of private label and national grocery brands, and dairy and frozen food items. To slash costs further and pass along savings to customers, the banner doesn't advertise or publish a weekly circular, and shoppers encouraged to use their own bags or to buy them as needed for 10 cents each.

Products cost up to 50 percent less at PriceRite stores than at traditional supermarkets, according to Wakefern. A typical store is about 30,000 to 35,000 square feet and employs from 50 to 100 associates.

"At PriceRite, it is our philosophy that our customers shouldn't have to sacrifice quality to save on price," said banner spokeswoman Kathy Freedman.

Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PriceRite also operates stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The first store under the banner opened in West Springfield, Mass., in 1995.

"PriceRite might have a better strategy [than Food King] by being very price-competitive, given the lower-income demographics of the Woodlawn area," noted Diamond. "A conventional-style supermarket like Food King had a difficult time attracting customers looking for the most from their grocery dollar. PriceRite should do well in that location. I would also look for PriceRite to open more stores in the near future in the Baltimore area."

Although no further store openings in the state are currently planned, Wakefern spokeswoman Santina Stankevich told Progressive Grocer that the company was "looking at the area and always interested in new opportunities to better serve our customers."