The three retailers that officially acquired 19 Genuardi’s stores over the past six weeks will have reopened all those units by the end of this month. And Safeway, parent company of Genuardi’s, is getting ready to exit the Delaware Valley market probably in the next few months when its remaining few stores are sold or closed.
The first retailer to reopen stores was Weis Markets which celebrated grand reopenings at three former Pennsylvania Genuardi’s units in Doylestown, Norristown and Conshohocken on June 16, less than a week after consummating the deal.
Ahold USA’s Giant/Carlisle unit, which didn’t receive Federal Trade Commission clearance to acquire 15 Pennsylvania stores until June 15 (more than five months after an agreement with Safeway was reached), has cut the ribbon on 10 of those stores already – Huntingdon Valley, Kennett Square, Jamison, North Wales, West Chester, Spring House, Springfield, Wynnewood, King of Prussia and Roslyn, PA. And on July 22, Giant/Carlisle will complete the conversion/remodeling process when it opens former Genuardi’s in Flourtown, Maple Glen, Langhorne, Chalfont and St. Davids.
“It’s an exciting time for all of our store teams as we look forward to opening the doors and introducing the Giant shopping experience to each community,” said Rick Herring, president. “There are plenty of unique new features in each store, providing a greater assortment of products, freshly prepared foods, and savings in every aisle. With the remodels, key departments such as produce, bakery, deli, meat and seafood have been updated to provide a clean look. While all store aisles have been updated with new signage, we’ve worked hard to keep products in the same general location. At the same time, we will be bringing an improved selection to customers across the store.”
The company said it has spent several million dollars on remodeling each store and has hired 1,700 former Genuardi’s associates. The original deal for 16 stores was valued at $106 million.
One store that was originally on Giant’s target list but was rebuffed by the FTC was the Newtown, PA unit, which was ultimately sold to McCaffrey’s Market. After refurbishing that store, Jim McCaffrey and his team reopened the unit on July 15. It is McCaffrey’s fourth store.
As for Safeway’s plans for the remaining Genuardi’s units, the big corporate chain plans to keep four of its stores open indefinitely until they are sold. Those four remaining stores are located in Audubon, PA; Egg Harbor, NJ; Marlton, NJ and Barnegat, NJ. A fifth store in Cherry Hill, NJ is slated to close on August 4.
Additionally, Safeway closed Genuardi’s headquarters offices in Norristown, PA on June 29.
When Safeway, which acquired Genuardi’s in 2001 for a reported $530 million in cash (39 stores at the time), ultimately shuts the doors it will mark the end of an era that began in 1920.