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At 6:00 a.m. this morning, Ahold’s Giant Carlisle division opened its first convenience store in Lancaster, PA. The 4,422 square foot location sells gas and traditional convenience store categories along with a basic selection of fresh meat and produce.
Giant To Go is a testing ground for a new retail concept that Giant plans to expand, says Sander van der Laan, president and CEO of Carlisle, PA-based Giant Food Stores. The store is serviced by both a distributor (candy and snacks) and by Giant’s Lititz, PA supermarket location (baked goods, groceries and other items). Local regulations prohibit the sale of beer in the new C-store.
“This is a new benchmark in the rich history of Giant Food Stores,” adds van der Laan, who successfully ran Ahold’s four Albert Heijn formats in The Netherlands before taking the helm of Giant in July. “While we call this a convenience store, it is not a convenience store in the traditional sense.”
While he did not provide an expansion timetable, van der Laan says a second location is in the works for 2010. Giant has sold gas for about 10 years at some of its 148 mid-Atlantic supermarkets.
On Thursday, Progressive Grocer will run an in-depth feature on the strategy behind the new concept.