Friday, October 5, 2012

Price Chopper planning new ultra-supermarket

A concept drawing of the new project.
LATHAM -- Anyone who has shopped at one of the Wegman super-supermarkets in the Rochester region and elsewhere usually winds up complaining that chains in the Capital Region offer nothing that compares.

Price Chopper appears to be addressing that lack of ultra-snazzy supermarkets with its announcement today that it will add 16 "eateries" at its Loudon Plaza site at 873 New Loudon Road (Route 9), opposite the entrance to the Latham Farms shopping complex.

The "eateries" will include 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. Customers will be able to purchase cooked-to-order foods.

The expansion also will include a cooking school to which local chefs will be invited to prepare foods in front of customers, an expanded pharmacy with a drive-up window, and an enlarged floral shop with a 20-foot-wide, 12-foot-tall wall of plants.

The chain plans to begin adding 10,000 square feet to the 80,000-square-foot store sometime in the next two months, with completion targeted for next fall. The availability of space at the adjacent former Bon Ton department store enabled the project. In addition to this high-visibility project, Golub Corp. plans to upgrade 10 of its other Capital Region stores at a total projected cost of $61 million.

The undertaking undoubtedly is at least partially in response to the arrival of a number of specialty groceries in the Capital Region -- such as Trader Joe's, Fresh Market and, next year, Whole Foods, as well as the debut of several new Shop Rites.

The parent Golub Corp. also plans to change the name of the store, but declined today to disclose the new name. It did go so far as to say it would include "by Price Chopper."

"Our goal here is to create a store by which all other stores will be judged," said Neil Golub, executive chairman of the company.

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