Wakefern Eyeing Buffalo Market for PriceRite Format

PriceRite, a discount grocery chain that is part of Wakefern Food Corp., might be entering the Buffalo, N.Y. market. "We are definitely interested in coming to that area, although we have nothing confirmed yet," said Karen Meleta, spokeswoman for Edison, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative food distributor Wakefern Corp., which owns, operates or franchises the PriceRite format as well as the ShopRite supermarket banner.

Based in Wethersfield, Conn., PriceRite is a no-frills chain with a format similar to limited assortment store Save-A-Lot and Aldi, which are already in the market.

Meleta said PriceRite is looking for a location and until the site is finalized determined, it will not set a timetable for entering the Buffalo market.

With 35 stores in five states, PriceRite opened a location earlier this year in Rochester, N.Y. The store was its third in New York State; a second Rochester location is slated for this year. Wakefern has so far been careful to locate PriceRite so that they do not compete against its ShopRite members.

The Buffalo market is crowded with supermarkets, with Tops Markets and Wegmans the dominant players. Wal-Mart is adding to its number of supercenters in the area, while Aldi and Save-A-Lot have added locations as well.

PriceRite stocks a limited assortment of groceries in an effort to keep costs down. Store size is about 30,000 to 35,000 square feet with limited interior décor. Customers pay for bags unless they bring their own.

A Scarborough Research study of grocery shopping in the Buffalo Niagara area this year found that 74 percent of those surveyed shopped at a Tops Market store in the previous seven days, while 53 percent shopped at a Wegmans, 28 percent at an Aldi, 17 percent shopped BJ's Wholesale Club, and 16 percent at Save-A-Lot.
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