Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. No non-grocery posts.
BatteryMill
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

buckguy wrote: August 30th, 2022, 4:25 am
BatteryMill wrote: August 24th, 2022, 1:46 pm https://www.winchesterstar.com/winchest ... fdf69.html

Late but here are some interesting revelations along these lines. Publix, Kroger, Wegmans, Whole Foods among others have shown interest in locating to Winchester sometime in the future.
I doubt that anyone will give them a flat "no", but the hedges are interesting. I wonder if Kroger is the "e-commerce" and Publix or possibly Wegman's is the one with the strategic mumbo jumbo.

The other stores they're courting is interesting, too. MOM's seems to be moving in a different geographic direction (Philly and now exurban NYC) and has been opening urban stores. They recently moved their original College Park store to an old REI in the same plaza (itself an old A&P that had brief lives as an Acme and a Shop-Rite), although hey occupy only part of the space--it added some new departments that are meant to try out new concepts like expanded prepared foods.

Trader Joe's seems not to open in satellite town-type locations---that area would have the retirees and empty nesters (all those weekend houses) who shop at TJs, but not so many of the young singles and couples. Sprouts does have some satellite-type town locations such as Murfreesboro near Nashville.
I mean, Kroger (and Harris Teeter) is growing quite slowly physically, now that they only care about plopping down those Ocado warehouses rather than constructing new shops. Interestingly Kroger hasn't really expanded to new markets since 2000 with the Hannaford buyout down in Richmond/Hampton Roads. Harris Teeter may be the more likely banner if so.

Sprouts would probably be the best organic fit now that they are slowly making inroads in greater Washington. I don't know about Whole Foods. Publix and Wegmans sound quite likely once their local distribution centers open, Publix maybe a little while after since they are concentrated on HR and Kentucky as I see it.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by buckguy »

Given the trading area sizes they need for their stores as well as the parcels for building them, Wegman's is probably reaching saturation in DC and some of their experience in seasonal secondary markets in NY State would make them a good fit for the Winchester/Front Royal area. I mentioned before that the presence of Costco makes me think that a destination market like Wegman's could work there.

Sprouts has done more on the Maryland side of DC and Baltimore, so I would imagine that Winchester would be on their radar screen.

Harris-Teeter has gone into a lot of odd locations in the DC area, perhaps because they haven't been a developer favorite in the past. They've also gone into places with little immediate competition (1st & M NE, which now has a TJs nearby) or rather weak competition (Adams Morgan). Stores like the ones in North Bethesda and the original planned location on the DC/Silver Spring border were a little away from competition and part of new development projects. That's also true of their Bethesda store which is in a new residential high rise and away from Safeway and Whole Foods (other end of downtown) as well as Giant (which is in another direction from everyone else on the edge of downtown). I doubt they'd want to enter a market like Winchester/Front Royal unless it was part of a large new residential development and a bit away from competitors. Martin's hold on the market might be enough to deter them.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

buckguy wrote: September 2nd, 2022, 5:30 am
Harris-Teeter has gone into a lot of odd locations in the DC area, perhaps because they haven't been a developer favorite in the past. They've also gone into places with little immediate competition (1st & M NE, which now has a TJs nearby) or rather weak competition (Adams Morgan). Stores like the ones in North Bethesda and the original planned location on the DC/Silver Spring border were a little away from competition and part of new development projects. That's also true of their Bethesda store which is in a new residential high rise and away from Safeway and Whole Foods (other end of downtown) as well as Giant (which is in another direction from everyone else on the edge of downtown). I doubt they'd want to enter a market like Winchester/Front Royal unless it was part of a large new residential development and a bit away from competitors. Martin's hold on the market might be enough to deter them.
Has Harris Teeter really not been a developer favorite? I thought they would since their stores are quite ubiquitous in the newer Loudoun/Prince William suburbs.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: September 2nd, 2022, 1:34 pm Has Harris Teeter really not been a developer favorite? I thought they would since their stores are quite ubiquitous in the newer Loudoun/Prince William suburbs.
There is a perception that Harris Teeter is fancier and more upscale than Giant. The newer Loudoun developments marketed themselves as upper income and upscale which feeds into the perception of Harris Teeter. Seems like a good fit. Harris Teeter also took advantage of Giant being in a "funk" from the fallout of the Ahold buyout when a lot of the development was going on in eastern Loudoun County. Now that Giant seems to be on a resurgence I think their newest prototype store is quite nice and could be the grocery anchor in a new upscale suburban development.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

mjhale wrote: September 3rd, 2022, 4:50 am
BatteryMill wrote: September 2nd, 2022, 1:34 pm Has Harris Teeter really not been a developer favorite? I thought they would since their stores are quite ubiquitous in the newer Loudoun/Prince William suburbs.
There is a perception that Harris Teeter is fancier and more upscale than Giant. The newer Loudoun developments marketed themselves as upper income and upscale which feeds into the perception of Harris Teeter. Seems like a good fit. Harris Teeter also took advantage of Giant being in a "funk" from the fallout of the Ahold buyout when a lot of the development was going on in eastern Loudoun County. Now that Giant seems to be on a resurgence I think their newest prototype store is quite nice and could be the grocery anchor in a new upscale suburban development.
Not sure how much of a funk it was though. Giant was still nicely expanding in the 2000s when all the issues with Ahold from around the time of the buyout were not long behind them. Growth slowed late in the decade once Harris Teeter was hitting its stride. I don't know about Safeway either.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by buckguy »

Developers are going to have long-term relationships with various chains. In some cases, they helped launch developers in the early days of suburbia and have kept with them---Kroger and Casto (large Columbus developer now related to Simon), for example. Giant has been around for decades and would be seen as a safe reliable anchor while Whole Foods is a well-established draw for more upscale developments. H-T has quite a few stores in developments that seem more speculative than the norm---the pre-Walter Reed location on the Silver Spring border, the off the beaten path store in North Bethesda, the 1st & M location in NoMa, and the Bethesda store, which is away from where most people live, as well as others. The Walter Reed complex made an oblique claim about Wegman's for a couple years that turned out to be false---the neighbors were excited about Wegman's in a way that they weren't about Harris-Teeter. H-T began its entry into the DC area in Virginia and may do better there, but overall they don't have a huge market share, overall
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