retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Albany Times Union reports that Golub Corp.-owned Price Chopper plans to build a new concept store that "will have 16 different eateries, an in-house cooking school, and produce grown and harvested in the store. It will be created by an expansion of the current Latham store on Route 9 ... The supermarket will add 10,000 square feet to the store for a total of 90,000 square feet. It will feature a New York Style deli, a chef's grill, a pizzeria, a Mexican restaurant, a New England-style fish fry, a salad and vegan bar, and a meat rotisserie among other places where customers can buy freshly made food that will be ready in five to seven minutes ... A seating area will have room for 140, with 40 to 50 additional outdoor seats during the warmer months.

"The in-house cooking school will invite local and regional chefs to cook in front of customers, and some of the store's produce will be grown and harvested within the store. The revised pharmacy will have an outdoor entrance and a drive-up window."

According to the story, "With four new ShopRite stores built in the Capital Region, as well as new competition from The Fresh Market, Trader Joe's and a coming Whole Foods market, Price Chopper intends to invest $61 million in 11 of its Capital Region stores."

"Our goal here is to create a store by which all other stores will be judged," says Neil Golub, executive chairman of the board for the company. "Every seven to 10 years, we go back to the drawing board. In our industry, there are those who lead and those who follow. The followers see what you're doing, and they try to replicate that."

Construction is expected to start before the end of the year, and the new store to be open in 12-14 months.
KC's View:
Price Chopper does not always get the public recognition that other companies get (especially another well-known New York State food retailer), but I have to say that I have consistently found Price Chopper's stores to be progressive, food-focused, differentiated, extraordinarily well managed, and highly shoppable. They are as good as anyone in the business - and, having seen the schematics, I cannot wait to see this store in action.