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The Charlotte Observer reports that Harris Teeter has opened two new 201central stores, in North Carolina that have been "renovated to feature more than 3,100 varieties of wine and almost 700 varieties of craft beer ... The stores offer a smaller grocery selection, with only a few aisles of food and a reduced frozen and cooler section. But they also offer an on-site event-planning service, complete with rentals for large parties, a cedar-walled humidor with more than 190 types of cigars, a temperature-controlled wine room, cooking classes and a cafe with sandwiches from Something Classic."

“There was no blueprint for this,” Chuck Thompson, Harris Teeter’s director of private label goods, tells the paper. The story says that "201central carries H.T. Traders private label foods, and Thompson said the pricing is the same as mainline Harris Teeter stores."
KC's View:
According to the Observer, at least part of the impetus for the new format may be heightened competition in Harris Teeter's backyard - from Whole Foods, Publix and Walmart, all of which have the potential to nibble away at share of stomach from different directions.

Harris Teeter has always struck me as the kind of company that does not need competition to think and act in innovative ways, but whatever the motivation, I think that concepts like 201central make a lot of sense. Test the boundaries, try new things, see what happens, and then do it again and again and again.