Spartan Stores' First Convenience and Fuel Center to Open Next Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Spartan Stores broke ground last week on construction of its first Quick Stop convenience and fuel center, which will be adjacent to a Glen's Markets unit in Harrison, Mich.

The new convenience store, which will be 900 square feet and offer eight fuel dispensers, is slated to open in October 2004. "We believe this is the right size convenience store because it is also close to our full-size supermarket where customers can shop for additional grocery items," Jeanne Norcross, v.p. corporate affairs told Progressive Grocer.

As reported earlier by Progressive Grocer, additional sites are expected to be selected this year. "Spartan is evaluating each of its supermarket sites to determine if a convenience and re-fueling center is appropriate and then prioritizing those sites," said Norcross. "We expect to develop a second convenience and fueling center before the end of the calendar year, and three to four other sites by the end of our fiscal year ending March 30."

Spartan, a grocery distributor that owns and operates 54 supermarkets and 21 deep-discount drug stores in Michigan and Ohio under the Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, and The Pharm banners, decided to pursue the convenience store business at select supermarket sites as an added service to its time-starved customers.

"Consumer research tells us that convenience and service are very important to today's consumer," said Norcross. "We are meeting those needs by offering services, such as fuel and convenience items, in a fast and friendly environment, when a full supermarket visit may not be necessary. This is also a way of rewarding and keeping our customers shopping our Glen's and Family Fare supermarkets by offering them various incentives and discounts to utilize our convenience and fueling centers."

The new Glen's Quick Stop will be constructed on the site of the Glen's Market in Harrison, and will feature an ATM machine, lottery tickets, food items -- including deli sandwiches and doughnuts made in the adjacent supermarket -- as well as various promotions and discounts for gasoline and supermarket shoppers.

-- Joe Tarnowski
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