retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that Stew Leonard’s, the iconic farm-fresh dairy store, has received approval to build a new 80,000 square foot store in a former Sears location in New Jersey’s Paramus Park mall.

The story notes that this will be Stew Leonard’s first New Jersey supermarket, though there are two independently owned Stew Leonard’s wine stores in the state. The new Stew Leonard’s would be the company’s seventh supermarket - it has three in Connecticut and three in New York.

The new store is expected to open during the first half of 2019.

The Paramus Park mall opened in 1974, and Sears was an anchor tenant from the day the mall opened until the store was shuttered early this year.
KC's View:
MNB readers know that I am skeptical about the whole supermarket-in-the-mall trend … I’m not sure that it makes sense for food stores to be attaching themselves to a troubled business model. Then again, maybe certain kinds for formats - like Wegmans or Stew Leonard’s - are capable of bring people back to the mall by offering a compelling destination.

I hope Stew’s is paying a nice low rent. The odds are it is going to do more for Paramus Park than Paramus Park is going to for it.

One other thing. We had a story just yesterday in which one expert said that only AS-level malls will survive, and that the surviving malls will have one thing in common - they’ll have an Apple Store and/or a Tesla store.

The Paramus Park mall has neither, according to its website.