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Buoyed the success of the 'Food to Go' prepared food section at its bustling Trump Palace location, The Food Emporium is working on plans to roll the prepared food concept out to other units operating under the A&P-owned gourmet banner, and Is even considering standalone versions of the concept, Hans Heer, Food Emporium general manager and a corporate s.v.p. at Montvale, N.J.-based A&P, told Progressive Grocer.
Any rollout would have to take into account that real estate in densely populated Manhattan, where the chain operates 16 stores, is at a premium, Heer said. "You have to have the space [to expand]," he explained, during an interview with Progressive Grocer.
Still, the company has "two locations in mind this year," Heer noted. He declined to specify what those locations are, as the project is still in the early planning stages, he said.
Heer did say that one of those locations could even be a separate spin-off concept. The banner is developing the idea of standalone Food to Go locations, he explained, with a tentative target for this year of two to three stores, and an additional three to five next year, depending, again, on the availability of real estate.
The Food Emporium would operate the locations, but they would run under "a separate name [and] a separate logo," said Heer.
At present, the Food to Go concept features a variety of ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat prepared foods, including entrees, soups, and sushi, with organic and healthier options available.
Progressive Grocer will feature the Trump Palace Food Emporium as the Store of the Month in an upcoming issue. The location, the second Food Emporium store to be "refreshed" to meet A&P's new Gourmet store format, is the top-performing store in the chain. The first Gourmet store was the company's flagship BridgeMarket location, at 59th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan.