With retail competition in the U.S. heating up, it seems as if retailers are zeroing in on a few key markets. One such market drawing eyes from investors is North Carolina’s Triangle region, the area between major hubs Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Over forty new grocery stores have been slated for the area in the coming years, including locations from top names such as Walmart, Publix, Wegmans, and more.
“One reason is just the strength of our economy. The other is just chance and our position on the East Coast, where we happen to be,” shared Charlie Coyne, Director of Retail Services for the Triangle and Triad markets for CBRE-Raleigh, at a NAIOP meeting earlier this month. “One grocery store that starts with a W is moving south, and one grocery store that starts with a P is moving north, and we’re in the crosshairs right now.”
The ‘W’ and ‘P’ that Coyne so mysteriously refers to, are likely Wegmans and Publix. Florida-based Publix has already opened three Triangle region stores, and while only four more are confirmed to be in the works more, the Triangle Business Journal reports that this number is likely to grow as the company secures more sites. Wegmans, based in New York, has yet to officially stake its claim in North Carolina, but has confirmed plans for four, 120,000-square-foot prototype locations.
“If you’ve been to a Wegmans, it’s really four stores in one,” Jim Broemer, President of Welcor Development of Raleigh said, according to the Business Journal. “It’s a Panera and a pub attached to a Whole Foods, attached to a Publix, attached to a BJ’s. It’s 35 checkouts. So, they’re going to be kicking at everybody.”
The 42 stores scheduled for the region will likely bring 1.5 million-square-feet of new grocery store space to the competitive market in the next two to four years. That’s almost a 20 percent increase in square footage over the area’s current inventory of 8 million-square-feet of grocery space.
In addition to the large-scale invasions of Wegmans and Publix, new names to the market like Sprouts and Lidl see the Triangle as an opportunity to grow its footprint and marketshare. The Triangle Business Journal also cites behemoths like Target and Walmart, who are planning to add their small format stores in the region.
As more details on the thriving region are revealed from even more retail interests, Deli Market News will update you with the latest.