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    Big Y Bows New Fresh Concept

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y here last week debuted its Fresh Acres Market concept, which emphasizes fresh fruit, organic food, and gourmet specialties. The 30,000-square-foot store in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood, which supersedes an earlier Big Y location, was reopened after a $10 million makeover.

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y here last week debuted its Fresh Acres Market concept, which emphasizes fresh fruit, organic food, and gourmet specialties. The 30,000-square-foot store in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood, which supersedes an earlier Big Y location, was reopened after a $10 million makeover.

    "This concept is totally unique to Big Y," Michael N. Beaudry, the store's sales manager, told a local newspaper, the Springfield Republican. "It's like no others."
    (Story continues below.)

    Amenities at the store include an innovative open-air entrance, which relies on a curtain of air to regulate the temperature inside the store, so that the store can keep its large garage-style doors open to create the feeling of shopping outdoors. The system maintains a comfortable temperature with the doors open until the outside temperature dips to 27 degrees.

    The store is said to offer a wide assortment of organic foods; over 500 gluten-free items; daily delivered fresh produce, much of it sourced locally; a selection of 375 cheeses; an olive bar; convenient grab-and-go hot entrees; over 246 types of coffee; and a selection of gift baskets that can be shipped worldwide.

    Big Y will monitor the performance of the inaugural Fresh Acres store before deciding on future rollouts of the format, the newspaper reported.

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