Giant-Landover Closing Five Stores; Shifting Cap Ex Investment

LANDOVER, Md. -- In a bid to boost its market share in areas where strong competitors such as Wegmans have made inroads, Giant Food, Inc. here said this week that it would shutter five older stores. The affected sites, which are slated to close after Easter, are located in Baltimore, Essex, and Randallstown, Md., and Riverdale and Fairfax, Va.

The company, which last week opened a 56,000-square-foot store prototype in Urbana, Md. and also completed a major remodel of a Super Giant store in Bear, Del., also announced a store opening and four major remodels by mid-year: A prototype store is set to debut in Stafford County, Va., and overhauls of stores in Gainesville, Dale City, Herndon, Va., and Wilmington, Del. are scheduled.

"These new store openings and closings are part of Giant's multiyear effort to reposition [its business] through new capital investments throughout its Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia operating areas," the grocer said in a statement.

"We are continuing our significant investments to improve our customer shopping experience," noted Giant Food president and c.e.o. Jose Alvarez. "Our new [Super Giant] prototype stores offer expanded perishable departments, and focus on making shopping more convenient through technological improvements and a wider assortment of ready-to-eat and prepared foods...[T]o date, we have opened six new prototype stores and one replacement store. We have also focused on bringing older stores up to date, and since the beginning of 2006, four Giant Food stores have undergone major remodeling.

"The stores to be closed are smaller, antiquated stores for which new investment was not a practical alternative," continued Alvarez. "Other nearby existing Giant stores will be able to serve our customers currently shopping at these stores."
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