Giant Eagle Eyeing Indianapolis

Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle is reportedly looking to open as many as six stores in the Indianapolis area, where it would compete with locally based Marsh Supermarkets and Midwestern giant Kroger.

Giant Eagle wants to build a 125,000-square-foot store in a mixed-used development in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. Its arrival would make it the first large-chain grocer to enter the market in several years and would crowd an already competitive scene that, in addition to Marsh and Kroger, includes Earth Fare, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and The Fresh Market, as well as Walmart's Neighborhood Market format. 

For the time being, Giant Eagle is staying mum on the reports, explaining that the company does not comment on deals in negotiation until it signs a lease. The stores would be Giant Eagle's first entry into the Hoosier State.

Indianapolis Attractive to Grocers

IBJ said Giant Eagle's interest in Indianapolis illustrates the grocery industry’s growing attraction to the market, particularly among the upscale sector, as other chains have expressed interest in similar new developments in the area around Indiana's capital city.

Walmart is the largest grocer in the Indianapolis area, with a 31.8 percent share as of 2011, according to Progressive Grocer data. Second is Kroger at 28.5 percent, followed by Marsh at 12.9 percent, Meijer at 10.5 and Target at 2.3.

Giant Eagle is reportedly interested in The Bridges, a $100 million, 62-acre development to include 250,000 square feet of retail space (including a CVS), 500,000 square feet of office space and 300 apartments.

Privately held Giant Eagle operates 217 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.

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