retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief commentary in italics.

• Fairway, which has gone from being a New York City-based specialty grocery store to a company fast expanding into the surrounding suburbs, is scheduled to open a new store next week in Douglaston, Queens - a community perhaps best known as the hometown of tennis legend John McEnroe. The 56,000 square foot unit is slated to open on November 16.

The company says it expects to have 11 stores open by the end of the year, driven largely by investment capital from Sterling Investment Partners, which took a majority ownership position in the company in 2007, pledging to open as many as two stores a year.

The open question, in my view, is whether Fairway may be growing too fast. I’m simply not sure that the company will be able to sustain its product and service quality levels and still expand this quickly ... and I know people who have been disillusioned by the experience at its new Stamford, Connecticut, store.

• The Boston Globe reports that Supervalu-owned Shaw’s Supermarkets “is launching a holiday giveaway that gives its shoppers a chance to win a share of more than $15 million in prizes and money-saving offers, including two $250,000 cash prizes ... customers can earn a game piece with qualifying purchases each time they shop, and they can earn additional game pieces by using their Shaw’s Rewards Card and purchasing participating products in the store.”

Shaw’s president Mike Stigers says that the goal is both attracting new customers and driving sales.
KC's View: