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Lowes Foods Embarks on New Concept Store in North Carolina

Regional grocer touts specialized foodservice, entertainment and overall frictionless shopping experience
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
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Lowes Foods will introduce a new concept in Huntersville, N.C., on Feb. 18.

Lowes Foods is proving that big things can come in small packages. The grocer will debut its new concept store in Huntersville, N.C., on Feb. 18, which uses a smaller footprint than its traditional stores. Compared to the nearby 52,000-square-foot store in Kernersville, N.C., the new Huntersville store measures only 25,000 square feet, but will provide a number of special features not typically found in Lowes Foods stores.

“Our new Huntersville store is like a food hall that will also serve as a community hub for morning coffee, family dinner on the go, beer with a friend, picking up groceries curbside, or a complete grocery shopping experience,” said Tim Lowe, president of Winston-Salem based Lowes Foods. “We call this the Swiss Army Knife of grocery stores. We will have a tool for what you need to do. You want something to do with the kids? We will have events for them. Trying to eat healthy? We will prep all of the fruits and vegetables for you. Need something quick for breakfast or lunch? We have an expanded menu of things you can drive by and pick up. You need to plan the book club meeting? Have it at our place. We’ll set up the cheese board, pour the wine and have a floral centerpiece. And you won’t have to clean up.”

New features at the Huntersville store include a second-floor mezzanine, which is available for booking events such as birthday parties, book clubs, team celebrations, group meetings, or simply as a place to eat or enjoy a beverage. There will also be planned events in the upper and lower mezzanine areas, such as flower-arranging classes, trivia nights, board game tournaments, and beer and wine tastings.

Located at 14021 Boren Street, just off I-77, the Huntersville store will also boast:

  • Pick & Prep, which Lowes Foods likens to having a personal sous chef. Pick & Prep offers packaged grab-and-go fruits and veggies that are cut fresh throughout the day. The area also is open for custom orders. If shoppers need only half an onion, Lowes will chop it for them. Shoppers can get just what they need, how they need it. Pick & Prep chefs will slice, dice, mince or cube fruits and vegetables while consumers shop.
  • The Beer Den, offering a selection of crafts and drafts that is local and varied. Shoppers can grab a pint and sip while they shop or fill a growler or crowler to take home. There are seasonal offerings of unique beers, special events and tap takeovers.
  • Sammy’s, the place to order a made-to-order sandwich or salad for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. Shoppers can eat in the store or grab and go.
  • Smokehouse, offering a daily rotation of wood-smoked meats — including beef, pork, chicken and salmon — using a variety of woods to infuse flavor. Available ready to eat or ready to take home and heat.
  • High Tide Fish Market, which places an emphasis on sourcing local when possible. Shoppers can get seafood seasoned and steamed while in store.

Other special departments include Bread Crumb, which is the place to find fresh artisan breads baked right in the store; the Cakery, a bakery that assembles cakes in all sizes in front of shoppers; and the Chicken Kitchen, a place to find all things chicken.

For a frictionless shopping experience, the new concept Huntersville store will also use a new app called Scan*Pay*Go. Customers will be able to scan items as they shop and then check out at specially marked kiosks as they leave. This app is in addition to the Lowes Foods to Go app that will allow shoppers to order all of their groceries for curbside pickup or delivery.

In addition, Lowes Foods recently added DoorDash to its suite of online ordering options. The partnership offers same-day service from more than 70 locations across the Carolinas.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Hickory, N.C.-based Alex Lee Inc.Lowes Foods LLC employs approximately 9,000 people and operates more than 80 full-service supermarkets in the Carolinas. The company is No. 65 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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