Are Small-Format Supermarkets the Next Big Thing?

We've been hearing for a while that big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, have been developing small-format concepts to help increase store productivity and make it easier to enter urban markets. But now supermarket operators appear to be following suit.

Our sister publication Supermarket News reports that Price Chopper has just unveiled a 19,000-sq.-ft. store at the base of a new residential building in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Price Chopper stores typically average about 60,0000 sq. ft., but this is an intriguing idea. Imagine shoppers just running downstairs when they need to pick up a grocery staple, instead of having to track at least several blocks to the nearest supermarket. It's hard to beat that kind of convenience even if competitors offer lower prices.

It's not clear yet if Price Chopper plans to open more such locations. According to Jerry Golub, company president and CEO, Price Chopper felt comfortable testing the idea in Saratoga Springs because it has a long history in the area. The store will carry fresh produce, meat, seafood, deli and bakery products, and will also feature an on-site cafe offering take-out service.

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