Delhaize's Sweetbay Format Bows This Weekend

NAPLES, Fla. - Delhaize Group subsidiary Kash n' Karry is debuting its new retail concept, Sweetbay, here on Saturday. The new banner will eventually replace all Kash n' Karry stores in Florida.

The first Sweetbay Supermarket is a 47,000-square-foot store located at 10370 Seminole Boulevard. It will feature several unique new elements, including the "Taste Explorer" program, a sampling initiative geared toward children; and "Explore Great Tastes," which encourages shoppers to sample any produce item, provided it's washed and cut by an associate. Shoppers will also be attended by "taste ambassadors," who will provide recipes and sampling.

"The message that Sweetbay wants to communicate is that it provides great food at a great value," spokeswoman Caren Epstein told Progressive Grocer. "The company wants the stores to be desirable to people of all means."

Sweetbay will also carry On the Go Bistro, a private label line of restaurant-quality frozen foods originated at Delhaize-owned chain Hannaford. Department highlights include a wine cellar with hundreds of the world's finest brands, according to Epstein; and "Nature's Place" store-within-a-store sections featuring both branded and private label natural and organic items.

In another move that differentiates the new concept from its Kash n' Karry legacy, Sweetbay will not carry Kash n' Karry's Preferred Customer Club card, the company previously announced.

Subsequent Sweetbay conversions will take place this year in the Sarasota and Fort Myers markets, Epstein noted, adding that the entire rollout should be complete by the end of 2006.
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