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Justadude

Next Downtown Grocery Store

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This project is an incredible asset to uptown, in my view. Not only does it create a tower where none exist now, away from the Tryon corridor, but it creates significant residential density to support and be supported by the grocery store, drug store, and all the rest in that immediate area. I also allows Fourth Ward to continue to grow and densify, despite the low rise neighborhood at its core.

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The ground level site plan of the Trinity project, just a block from the Vue, had a space that looked like it was intended for a grocer. It will be interesting if that turns out that way.

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When the Vue and 210 Trade come online, it would seem logical for another grocer to open in the area.

How fabulous it would be if Publix opened an Uptown store!

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When the Vue and 210 Trade come online, it would seem logical for another grocer to open in the area.

How fabulous it would be if Publix opened an Uptown store!

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I seriously doubt a publix will emerge in uptown, let alone around here. The likelihood of a grocer being opened uptown is extremely high and I wouldn't be surprised if another is opened as part of the Third Ward developments.

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I think Bloom would do extremely well Uptown if they were to design an "express" style store. Their technology and quick-stop orientation are compatible with what you'd expect from an urban supermarket.

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I think Bloom would do extremely well Uptown if they were to design an "express" style store. Their technology and quick-stop orientation are compatible with what you'd expect from an urban supermarket.

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I have heard of the land delays from other sources, plus it always seemed odd that the land purchase would be the very last thing to have in order. But I guess it doesn't really matter at this point because it is all set now.

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Maybe a FreshMarket. They seem like they could be a posibility with an upscale selection and an already small blueprint.

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Interesting, I would think the numbers would work, people will travel to get to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market, quite far IMO, not to mention that this grocery store should be a good fit for existing uptown residents and daytime lunchers, within what range do the 15,000 need to be?

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Interesting, I would think the numbers would work, people will travel to get to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market, quite far IMO, not to mention that this grocery store should be a good fit for existing uptown residents and daytime lunchers, within what range do the 15,000 need to be?

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^ Yep... I drive out of the loop for large grocery runs. It's just not sensible to drop an extra $50 at the HT, especially considering they don't have real grocery carts to carry the stuff in.

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Food is very price sensitive.

I lived near Oakhurst CA for about a year in the early 1990s. They did have one Raley's which had just been built -- but the locals told me that before it arrived, they'd drive 40 miles to Fresno to buy food, since the local markets were too high.

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It is price sensitive for normal stores, like HT, though a Whole Foods/Fresh Market tends to attract the quality over commodity crowd as well as those seeking organic and specialty items not found in a normal grocery, and why the customer base will travel farther. So for this market segment the other two stores might as well not be there, though I haven't been to the HT, is it one of the nicer ones that offers some of the items found in a Whole Foods/Fresh Market? I do like the smaller corner markets idea, that would be very cool, like a meat market/deli, a produce store, a bakery, an Asian market, etc., to give real character to the street scape.

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Honestly for fresh produce, HT is not that great. They ship it in from great distances like everything else and it is marginal at best and very expensive. For almost anything else that is dated, then I don't think it really matters. HT, and especially some HTs in Charlotte, are amazingly expensive compared to other stores and for people looking to fill up their new stainless steel and granite lined larders in their new pricey condos, I can see them making a run to a cheaper place.

And that is part of the point that I made somewhere earlier in another thread. If you build a condo in downtown with huge appliances and storage in a kitchen, it encourages people to get into their SUV and purchase a bunch of food at once. The suburban mindset being installed in the center city. In contrast to that, I've been in apartments in Tokyo and London where the fridge and storage spaces for food are tiny and because of that people there tend to shop in small amounts in corner markets and from street vendors on a daily basis. It's a difference in mindset that doesn't exist, I guess, in Charlotte.

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I'd like to see corner stores like most big cities have. In Toronto there are produce stores and butcher shops all over the place. It is easy to get fresh selections and the prices aren't bad. Selection might suffer some, but only because they tend to stock more seasonal foods (maybe due to limited space to store "everything"?). I just like shopping at smaller markets more. Find a good central block, pop in a produce mart, a wine shop, and a meat-market (Have a Nice Day & Cans don't count) and I'll be fine!

We go to HT daily as it is for dinner and don't stock up -- now because it is convenient on East Blvd -- but also because we like more fresh food and have no idea what we'll want to eat more than a day in advance.

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I cannot fathom Vue dwellers going anywhere but Harris Teeter. They clearly have the money to cover whatever small percentage more expensive it is, but will benefit greatly from being closer to Harris Teeter than they'd be inside a parking space at any other grocer in the city. You could literally throw stone and hit HT from the Vue site. Even if a grocer were to be put in the Trinity project, or anywhere else uptown, I'm guessing you'd still get almost all Vue people going to the Teet.

It is a very interesting question as to what shopping behavior will come of the larger kitchens of the Vue. My guess is that some people will continue to stock stuff and shop in larger loads. Others will truly follow the Euro/urban model of getting that day's meal that day. Not all condos uptown have normal size fridges. Furman kitchens are quite small (on microwaves, half-dishwashers, small sinks, and fridge openings not big enough for side-by-sides or deep fridges). Many other kitchens are the same way uptown. The Vue, however, has opted for flashy normal sized appliances and kitchens. But my guess is that people will still not stock their fridges full to the brim like I personally see a lot with people who shop once every couple of weeks at Costco.

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I cannot fathom Vue dwellers going anywhere but Harris Teeter. They clearly have the money to cover whatever small percentage more expensive it is, but will benefit greatly from being closer to Harris Teeter than they'd be inside a parking space at any other grocer in the city.

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I use it as my only grocer, and I don't live across the street. I think people have a misperception of what they sell. They sell a sizeable percentage of what a regular grocery store sells, but they simply have less stock of it, which doesn't effect the customers if they restock often.

If someone can walk 20 yards to a grocery store and save gas money, and the inconvenience of driving, parking, putting groceries in the car, unloading, etc., they'd actually pay more for that convenience. I'm sure a few will drive occassionally to get some extreme bargain on something. But for 90% of their shopping, it would be a no brainer to shop at the store across the street from their building. Not to mention, there is some intangeable impetus for supporting a grocer that supports their home value. No one uptown wants that Harris Teeter to fail or they perceive it to significantly affect their property values and social value of their urban neighborhood.

I have found their prices to be pretty much the same as the prices as any other HT nearby. Maybe HT prices in general are higher than other stores, but that would not be enough to spend gas money over buying food across the street.

Most suburbanites cannot fathom this (I'm not singling out you metro, but also expressing what I perceived when I lived in the suburbs), but being able to walk to a mainstream grocer across the street from your building is actually liberarating. From the 50th floor of The Vue, you're actually only about a 3 minute elevator ride and walk from the inside of the grocer. For many people, it is not that much longer than a trip to their kitchen. Wanting some tacos, some ice cream, some pickles, some cold meds, a bag of chips, a box of cereal, a pack of beer, you name it, would be just an elevator ride and 20 yards away.

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"In contrast to that, I've been in apartments in Tokyo and London where the fridge and storage spaces for food are tiny and because of that people there tend to shop in small amounts in corner markets and from street vendors on a daily basis."

I don't know...I had one closet, a mini fridge, and a hot plate in college. Didn't seem so great to me.

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I don't know...I had one closet, a mini fridge, and a hot plate in college. Didn't seem so great to me.

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I cannot fathom Vue dwellers going anywhere but Harris Teeter. They clearly have the money to cover whatever small percentage more expensive it is, but will benefit greatly from being closer to Harris Teeter than they'd be inside a parking space at any other grocer in the city. You could literally throw stone and hit HT from the Vue site. Even if a grocer were to be put in the Trinity project, or anywhere else uptown, I'm guessing you'd still get almost all Vue people going to the Teet.

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I was discussing the idea that they would drive out 5-10 minutes to get to cheaper grocer. I certainly agree that the people who want niche items like whole foods, high quality meats, and so forth will drive to the best spots for those (it could be the center city green market, Reid's, Whole Foods, Home Economist, etc.).

I shop 90% at the uptown HT. The remainder is at Home Economist, Reids, and Fresh Market.

I also want to address the myth that the uptown HT is an 'HT Express'. Others will have to detail the square footage numbers, but the uptown HT has never been in their Express format. It has always intended to be a full service grocer simply targeting the needs of urban people. It is a smaller store, but that has meant that it has a similar selection, but fewer stocks of each item, but I'd bet they refresh it more often.

Early on, the managers didn't pick the selection right, and there were many items that we regularly bought that weren't available uptown, so we ended up shopping half the time at the Dilworth HT and the other half uptown. However, they have tweaked their selection over time as they have understood the uptown market. For example, they used to not have the larger bottles of coffee creamer, no organic milk, no "HE/High Efficiency" laundry detergent, etc. They now have all of those things and many more things. In the last few years, they have had everything that we have needed for normal grocery shopping.

On price, they sell items for the same price as the other HT. However, since they stock fewer of each item, they probably have fewer sales. However, I have said in other threads that I believe shopping at HT saves me money because I like their generics, whereas cheaper stores have generics that I do not like and I'd have to buy the trademarked brand. There is the transportation cost savings, too, for people living uptown.

One last point is that a grocery store is being planned at the Scaleybark Station. I could see some people living uptown on the LRT line going to that one a lot.

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One last point is that a grocery store is being planned at the Scaleybark Station. I could see some people living uptown on the LRT line going to that one a lot.

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Has anyone considered the possibility of EarthFare opening uptown? I think it would be a pretty smart move. It would take a chunk out of the new Whole Foods in Liz's business by being within walking distance of downtown residences. I doubt WF would open a 2nd store so close. Also, with Johnson and Wales being a culinary school I'm sure the students there not only have a taste for better quality groceries but also spend a larger chunk of there budget on groceries as food is an interest for them. EarthFare is no stranger to urban stores. They also offer an inexpensive organic buffet during the days which could be great for office workers and students. I shop at EF now, one of meat dept. is very much like a high quality butcher shop and their produce is always great. It would also be great to have an NC based organic grocer in Uptown vs. one based out of state. They also have classes and lectures at their stores which could possibly be of interest to J&W students and a great for new uptown residents to get to know other Uptown residents.

EDIT: I also thought I would add that the EF in downtown Boone has student discounts on your entire grocery bill. I think it's around 10 to 15%. This helps curb the additional cost of going organic for college students. I'm sure they would offer something similar if they cropped up around J&W.

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