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PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle based here is said to be close to finalizing a deal to open a 150,000-square-foot new concept store that would not only expand its gourmet Market District store count from two to three, but also dramatically expand the format's floor plan via a new prototype that could compete directly with big-box retailers.
The pending site, reported to be located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Robinson Township, would serve as a major anchor at Settlers Ridge, a joint venture between Charlotte, N.C.-based Faison Enterprises and Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL and Associates Properties Inc.
Set to open in 2008, the new prototype format location is expected to replace an existing store in Robinson, according to The Pittsburgh Business Times, which quoted unnamed sources familiar with the plan.
A Giant Eagle spokesman told Progressive Grocer the chain has no plans confirmed for the Settlers Ridge site.
"We continually evaluate numerous opportunities to expand all of our store banners, including Giant Eagle, Giant Eagle Market District, Giant Eagle Express and GetGo from Giant Eagle," said Dan Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesman. "Currently, we have nothing to announce regarding a Settler's Ridge location."
The new larger footprint store, should it come to pass, would represent the company's first expansion of the food-focused Market District banner, which was launched last year in Shadyside and Bethel Park, Pa. Those two stores measure roughly 70,000 and 88,000 square feet, respectively. The project would also signal yet another new store concept for the Western Pa. market leader, and a new platform on which to compete directly with big box retailers.