Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

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May 15, 2019

Wawa plans to roll out a new catering service across all of its stores beginning May 6. Wawa operates more than 840 convenience stores, more than 600 of which include fuel stations, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.

In other news, on May 9 Wawa opened three Miami, FL locations. 

According to the Company, it plans to open about 50 stores in Miami within the next 5-10 years. At the same time, Wawa will continue to open stores throughout Florida at the rate of 30-35 per year - click here to request a list of future openings.


Office Depot’s first quarter sales decreased 2.2% to $2.77 billion, reflecting the closing of 17 underperforming stores during the year, and a 4% decrease in comps, which came on top of a 4% decrease in the same period last year. During the first quarter, no stores were opened, and two were closed. Office Depot plans to close 50 stores in 2019 (click here to request future Office Depot closings), up from 18 in 2018, due to an inability to rely on Compcom to generate enough revenue to offset falling demand in the legacy office supply business.

Trader Joe's has plans to open a 13,000 square-foot store, in Bridgewater, NJ. It will be located in a former Golfsmith. 

Today, Meijer is opening three new stores in Ohio located in Stow, Avon and Mentor. The Stow store is about 192,000 square feet while the Avon and Mentor stores stand at 155,000 square-feet. Plans are in the works to open 11 more stores in Northeast Ohio in the next five years. The next two stores are scheduled to open in 2020 in Brimfield and Lorain. The Company operates more than 240 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky - click here to request a list of future openings.


Strategic Sales Insights

On April 16, Smart & Final announced a definitive merger agreement with funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management whereby Apollo will acquire all the outstanding shares of Smart & Final stock at $6.50 per share, representing a total valuation of $1.12 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed by the third quarter of fiscal 2019. After rapid store growth began to cannibalize sales in fiscal 2017, Smart & Final slowed growth and opened just seven locations (three net new locations) in fiscal 2018. The Company instead invested in digital platforms including a new supply chain and new financial and analytics systems. Our report takes a close look at the Company’s operational and competitive status, including market position, real estate and sales trends, and provides visual competitive analyses as well as key real estate metrics like store count, average sales per store and sales per square foot.

Walmart announced that it will offer next-day delivery without a membership fee on eligible orders of $35 or more. The offer will first be available to customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas, then expand to Southern California in the coming days and roll out gradually over the coming months, with a plan to reach 75% of the U.S. population this year. The move follows Amazon’s free one-day shipping offering, announced last month for Prime members. Walmart said its NextDay service includes up to 220,000 of the most frequently purchased items, ranging from diapers and laundry detergent to toys and electronics, with more products to be added.

In other news, Walmart plans to launch an online pet pharmacy called, as it looks to capitalize on the $75.00 billion pet market (an estimate from American Pet Products Associated). It is also adding more in-store veterinary clinics. Walmart currently operates 21 vet clinics in its stores across six states and plans to expand the total to 100 during the next 12 months. The in-store clinics offer vaccines, exams and treatment for minor illnesses.

In other news, Walmart will raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes at its U.S. stores to 21 amid growing pressure from government agencies to cut tobacco sales and use among minors, effective in September.

The Company also said it will stop selling fruit and dessert flavored e-cigarettes. The new rules will take effect in July at all of its 5,300 U.S. stores, including its Sam’s Club warehouse locations. Previously, Walmart’s minimum purchase age was 18, aside from a number of states where the legal age is 21. Earlier this year, the FDA put Walmart and 14 other retailers on notice for selling tobacco products to kids.

Last week, Amazon opened its first Go store in New York City, near the World Trade Center. It is about 1,300 square feet and features ready-to-eat meals and snacks prepared by Amazon as well as offerings from local vendors. It is the first of its kind to accept cash, a move that was prompted by backlash from critics who say cashless stores discriminate against the poor. Last month, Amazon confirmed it was working on a way to accept cash. Amazon Go currently operates 12 stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. Philadelphia became the first city to ban cashless stores earlier this year. New Jersey passed a statewide ban soon after, San Francisco mandated that brick-and mortar-retailers accept cash just last week, and a similar law is being considered in New York City.

In other news, Amazon is launching a new delivery option called Counter that will let customers retrieve parcels from staffed counters at U.K. and Italian retailers. Through a partnership with Next Plc, which will operate the counters at its more than 500 outlets across Britain, customers will be able to pick up a range of Amazon purchases. In Italy, it has formed similar partnerships with bookstore operator Giunti and other stores.

Dunkin' Brands signed store development agreements to open 50 new locations, slated for Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada and Missouri. The stores are expected to open over the next few years. The Company plans to add 200 – 250 net new restaurants each year over the next three years in the U.S., with 90% of these openings taking place outside the Northeast.

The Chefs’ Warehouse leased a new 231,000 square-foot facility in City of Industry, CA. The new DC will contain Allen Brothers meat and seafood processing facilities, as well as a temperature-controlled specialty produce space. According to the Company, the new facility will strengthen its “ability to provide excellent service to our customers throughout the Los Angeles metro area and beyond.”

Amazon’s Whole Foods has signed leases for its new Northeast headquarters and a new store, both in Jersey City, NJ. The leases total 94,940 square feet and include a 47,400 square-foot office space for the new headquarters and a 47,540 square-foot retail location downtown.

Golub Corporation will close an underperforming Price Chopper supermarket in Vernon, CT on May 28. 

Raley’s recently began construction on a new store in Sacramento, CA, slated to open in 2020. The new 55,000 square-foot store will replace a store a block away, which will remain open during construction. Raley’s currently operates 129 stores under five banners. 

On May 22, Lucky’s Market will open a new store in Jacksonville, FL. It will be the Company’s second in the city and 19th in the state. Lucky’s currently operates a total of 36 stores in 10 states. 

Last week, H.E. Butt opened an 80,000 square-foot store in Hudson Oaks, its eighth location in North Texas. The store offers H-E-B Curbside and H-E-B Home Delivery, a pharmacy with drive-thru, and expanded produce, organic, and prepared food departments. Additionally, it offers self-checkout lanes and an eight-pump fuel station. 

Grocery Outlet will open a 16,000 square-foot store in Port Orchard, WA, in a space formerly occupied by Save-A-Lot, by this fall - see below for Future Store Openings Map. The Company operates two other stores about 20 minutes away, in East Bremerton and Silverdale. Click here to request Grocery Outlet Future Openings.


Lidl, which is expanding into New Jersey and the Jersey Shore, has signed a lease to open a store in Brick, NJ. The 25,000 square-foot space was formerly a CostCutters, which has been vacant for years. Competitor Aldi also operates a store in Brick and Trader Joe’s recently announced that it will open in the same plaza as the new Lidl store. In Monmouth County, Lidl also has stores in Eatontown and Hazlet with a third under construction in Lacey.

On May 18, ShopRite will open a new supermarket in Cromwell, CT. The 67,000 square-foot supermarket will have a pharmacy, and expanded produce and prepared food offerings. It will also have pick-up and home delivery through the Company’s ShopRite from Home service.

Cool Holdings announced it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all of the outstanding capital stock of Simply Mac from its parent GameStop. Simply Mac, based in Salt Lake City, UT, is the largest Apple premier partner in the U.S. and operates 43 stores in 18 states. Consideration for the purchase will be based in part on the value of inventories and other working capital at the date of closing. The transaction is expected to close by early August 2019. Upon closing, Cool Holdings will have 59 stores including 46 in the U.S., six in Argentina, and seven in the Dominican Republic.



This information contained in this newsletter is compiled from sources which Market Service Inc. does not control and unless indicated is not verified. Its contents are not to be divulged. Market Service Inc., its principals and writers do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information provided nor do they assume responsibility for failure to report any matter omitted or withheld because of their negligence.