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mediamongrel

Asheville grocers & food retailers - What's your preference?

60 posts in this topic

This forum will hopefully be a closer look at the fairly small and oversaturated list of grocers in the Asheville area, mainly monopolized by Ingles. However, please feel free to discuss any chains you may want to see expand into the area.

I realize the concentration favors Ingles almost everywhere in Asheville, but the one Harris Teeter (Hendersonville Rd.), and Bi-Lo (over off of I-240) seem to also be within the city limits, at least enough to warrant their discussion.

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Of course there's the second Harris Teeter under construction on Merrimon on the old Deal Buick site. I think that store is probably going to be ugly... the site plan is unfortunately similar to the Great Wall of Staples.

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I definitely have been wanting to try Greenlife. It might not be quite a real Whole Foods, but it seems to be almost as large.

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Of course there's the second Harris Teeter under construction on Merrimon on the old Deal Buick site. I think that store is probably going to be ugly... the site plan is unfortunately similar to the Great Wall of Staples.

Stilll don't get that one. I know there's some "money" around that area (Merrimon), but HT would have been better suited somewhere like Biltmore Park. I think more tourists or higher income residents tend to congregate at Biltmore Park and/or Biltmore Village than they do at Merrimon Ave. I think Ingles forced everyone else out of the main areas, which is kind of sad because Ingles seems just as high priced as HT, but they have most locals believing that they aren't.

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Well, as a 34 year resident of the area may I throw in my $.02 worth? How many "tourists" actually shop at grocery stores while in town? Or at least enough to make a store want to locate in a certain area because of their business. I actually think it's a great place for a supermarket (read non-specialty grocery). There are a lot of downtown residents who don't really have a grocery store within walking distance. Yes, many of the trendy upscale downtown residents shop at Greenlife, but they're not the only people who live in the downtown area. Also, most of them are fairly mobile, vehicularly, as the constantly filled parking lot attests. There are a lot of people who live in the area near downtown who would like to have another option other than Ingles, the specialty stores (The Fresh Market, Greenlife), and Best Foods (should be called Dirty Ingles Lite). And then there is the satisfaction of HT actually getting a foot in the door after Ingles bought the shopping center where Best Foods eventually located. There was a Winn Dixie there and then when that closed HT announced a store in that location. Ingles wouldn't have that and bought the shopping center to block them out. And a few neighbors, too, to complain about trucks.

I've never done any studies on the wealth factor of North Asheville vs. Biltmore Park. Living here so long, I'd have to place my bets on North Asheville over the manufactured psuedo town of Biltmore Park.

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Well, as a 34 year resident of the area may I throw in my $.02 worth? How many "tourists" actually shop at grocery stores while in town? Or at least enough to make a store want to locate in a certain area because of their business. I actually think it's a great place for a supermarket (read non-specialty grocery). There are a lot of downtown residents who don't really have a grocery store within walking distance. Yes, many of the trendy upscale downtown residents shop at Greenlife, but they're not the only people who live in the downtown area. Also, most of them are fairly mobile, vehicularly, as the constantly filled parking lot attests. There are a lot of people who live in the area near downtown who would like to have another option other than Ingles, the specialty stores (The Fresh Market, Greenlife), and Best Foods (should be called Dirty Ingles Lite). And then there is the satisfaction of HT actually getting a foot in the door after Ingles bought the shopping center where Best Foods eventually located. There was a Winn Dixie there and then when that closed HT announced a store in that location. Ingles wouldn't have that and bought the shopping center to block them out. And a few neighbors, too, to complain about trucks.

I've never done any studies on the wealth factor of North Asheville vs. Biltmore Park. Living here so long, I'd have to place my bets on North Asheville over the manufactured psuedo town of Biltmore Park.

A lot more people than you think seem to like "pseudo towns" than the older part of town. At least in my interactions with people. With rent prices being so high in all of Asheville, you get a lot more for your money in the southern end of town. The area is new, cleaner, has easier access, and in my opinion, is where all the retail is moving towards. Also, you seemed to have left out the richest area in Asheville, Biltmore Forest. This is kind of in the middle of the two areas we are discussing, and the houses there are probably worth more than the ones in North or South Asheville because of the land alone. Back to the original subject though, HT is never really going to make a dent in Ingles unfortunately. Especially with Ingles building two new stores in far south Asheville, almost near Hendersonville. Fresh Market would be a good addition anywhere in Asheville. There's no way I'm driving to Hendersonville, even though I like Fresh Market.

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I heard that Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods are swapping some stores, and the Asheville Teeter will become a Lowes Foods soon. Will this be the first Lowes Foods in Asheville? Harris Teeter will be re-entering Asheville when their new store opens next year.

http://www.wcnc.com/news/consumer/Attention-shoppers-Lowes-Foods-and-Harris-Teeter-will-switch-locations-156504795.html

Edited by NCMike1981

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I heard that Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods are swapping some stores, and the Asheville Teeter will become a Lowes Foods soon. Will this be the first Lowes Foods in Asheville? Harris Teeter will be re-entering Asheville when their new store opens next year.

http://www.wcnc.com/...-156504795.html

Interesting article...I really don't understand how the HT on Hendersonville Rd. will become a Lowes Foods. It's extremely small for a Lowes Foods store. The ceiling is low, and there isn't a lot of square footage. That is unless they are buying out some of the tenants to the left of them. There is some kind of a workout place, a bike store and a Great Clips, but I doubt either of those will close. This will leave the new HT on Merrimon as the only one which is weird. I like HT a lot more than Ingles, but I'm not driving to Merrimon Avenue to shop there. If that does indeed become a Lowes Foods on Hendersonville Rd. I will probably be shopping there (trying to avoid the "down your throat" Ingles take over tactic)

Edited by mediamongrel

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I bet that this is Harris Teeter just focusing on where they are "top dog" - in metro Charlotte. It doesn't make sense at all for Harris Teeter to re-enter Asheville with this new store anymore after their move to solidify their holdings in Charlotte and abandon WNC.

When I drove by there about 3 weeks ago they hadn't done anything beyond grading on the site, so assuming construction hasn't progressed any more since then, HT will probably divest themselves of that location too.

Although I think that location would have done fine as a HT I think it would make more sense with a little more intense development.

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Interesting how HT is keeping their Boone store open. I haven't been by there in many years but the store is so far off the main road and up a hill you wouldn't even notice it unless you knew it was there. So I suppose when the dust settles the Boone store and the Asheville store (assuming they continue building it after this swapping is complete) will be the only 2 stores in Western NC?

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A HT spokesperson says that they will reenter the Asheville market in 2013 according to this Charlotte Observer article.

Ironically Lowe's closed their Morganton store a few years ago. I believe that store was larger and more modern than what they're getting from HT.

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This is going to piss off a lot of people who shop at that Hendersonville Rd. Harris Teeter. All those people who send their kids to that private school across the street will have to get used to shopping at Lowes Foods. Ironically there are two Ingles surrounding that location, so now if you drive from Skyland to Biltmore Village, you will pass Earthfare, an Ingles, a Lowes Foods, and another Ingles right before the I-40 on ramp.

Edited by mediamongrel

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A lot more people than you think seem to like "pseudo towns" than the older part of town. At least in my interactions with people. With rent prices being so high in all of Asheville, you get a lot more for your money in the southern end of town. The area is new, cleaner, has easier access, and in my opinion, is where all the retail is moving towards. Also, you seemed to have left out the richest area in Asheville, Biltmore Forest. This is kind of in the middle of the two areas we are discussing, and the houses there are probably worth more than the ones in North or South Asheville because of the land alone. Back to the original subject though, HT is never really going to make a dent in Ingles unfortunately. Especially with Ingles building two new stores in far south Asheville, almost near Hendersonville. Fresh Market would be a good addition anywhere in Asheville. There's no way I'm driving to Hendersonville, even though I like Fresh Market.

To each their own. I did live in South Asheville in the late 70's but I wouldn't be caught dead living out there at this point. Traffic is horrid and it's just boring with no character. And I didn't leave out Biltmore Forest, since I was responding to your post and you didn't mention it. You did mention Biltmore Village but since there is very little, if any, housing there I didn't see any point in mentioning it.

I bet that this is Harris Teeter just focusing on where they are "top dog" - in metro Charlotte. It doesn't make sense at all for Harris Teeter to re-enter Asheville with this new store anymore after their move to solidify their holdings in Charlotte and abandon WNC.

When I drove by there about 3 weeks ago they hadn't done anything beyond grading on the site, so assuming construction hasn't progressed any more since then, HT will probably divest themselves of that location too.

Although I think that location would have done fine as a HT I think it would make more sense with a little more intense development.

They are doing a lot of site work with drainage culverts, etc. Also a new sign announcing the HT store has gone up in the last week.

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To each their own. I did live in South Asheville in the late 70's but I wouldn't be caught dead living out there at this point. Traffic is horrid and it's just boring with no character. And I didn't leave out Biltmore Forest, since I was responding to your post and you didn't mention it. You did mention Biltmore Village but since there is very little, if any, housing there I didn't see any point in mentioning it.

They are doing a lot of site work with drainage culverts, etc. Also a new sign announcing the HT store has gone up in the last week.

To each their own. I did live in South Asheville in the late 70's but I wouldn't be caught dead living out there at this point. Traffic is horrid and it's just boring with no character. And I didn't leave out Biltmore Forest, since I was responding to your post and you didn't mention it. You did mention Biltmore Village but since there is very little, if any, housing there I didn't see any point in mentioning it.

They are doing a lot of site work with drainage culverts, etc. Also a new sign announcing the HT store has gone up in the last week.

I will just say it bluntly, HT is a predominantly yuppie store (especially in the Charlotte Market) and why they would choose a more liberal/hippie area to locate their new Asheville store is beyond me. But hey it may work out, I really cannot say. It would just be nice for someone to compete with the overrated Ingles.

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It sounds like Ingles is to Asheville as Harris Teeter is to Charlotte from a store saturation standpoint lol

Edited by NCMike1981

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I will just say it bluntly, HT is a predominantly yuppie store (especially in the Charlotte Market) and why they would choose a more liberal/hippie area to locate their new Asheville store is beyond me. But hey it may work out, I really cannot say. It would just be nice for someone to compete with the overrated Ingles.

I agree. More choices is always a good thing.

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I agree. More choices is always a good thing.

They already have started changing that HT on Hendersonville Rd.

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I wish Harris Teeter would have considered an "express" store in the Biltmore Park area. I was in that area last week and I saw Orvis was opening soon. With Orvis and REI already as tenants, the clientel is definitely there, and that Ingles up the road is just like every other Ingles...BORING.

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Better yet, they should put a Trader Joe's in the space behind P.F. Chang's that has never been filled.

edit: Those are 3 spaces, and from the website it is close to 11,000 square feet. An average Trader Joe's, if I am correct, is usually 14 to 17K square feet. That would be really small if they opened there, but they could.

There is also 12,000 square feet of space across from B&N. I think it would be best if they just built a store elsewhere or built their own in Biltmore Park.

Edited by ct36

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The latest I've heard is that TJ's is going into the space at River Ridge to be vacated by Kitchen and Company in another month or so. They will be moving into the old Goody's space next to Michaels in the River Bend center. I suspect they will subdivide the K&C space since that's a little large for a TJ's. It shouldn't be too hard to get a tenant to move in next door to a TJ's, I expect.

They lost out on the former Linen's and Things space on Airport Rd to Big Lots.

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The latest I've heard is that TJ's is going into the space at River Ridge to be vacated by Kitchen and Company in another month or so. They will be moving into the old Goody's space next to Michaels in the River Bend center. I suspect they will subdivide the K&C space since that's a little large for a TJ's. It shouldn't be too hard to get a tenant to move in next door to a TJ's, I expect.

They lost out on the former Linen's and Things space on Airport Rd to Big Lots.

Trader Joe's in River Ridge? Odd place because their clientel isn't around there at all. But I'm guessing if people find out it's there it might do well. But I agree with ct36, Biltmore Park would support a Trader Joe's a lot more than River Ridge ever could.

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Who do you think their clientel consists of? Actually, everyone I've heard mention it is thrilled it's not going out to the faux city of Biltmore Park. It makes so much more sense to me. Right there on the interstate with an exit from I-40 that goes straight into the shopping center. Mega amounts of parking available. Relatively easy to get to from all parts of Asheville via I-240 and I-40. Traffic out that way isn't horrid like it can be in South Asheville. Win win for them, I think.

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Why does everyone hate South Asheville? River Ridge is not appealing to me at all. Sorry, but I guess everyone likes what they like.

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Actually, everyone I've heard mention it is thrilled it's not going out to the faux city of Biltmore Park.

Funny, everyone I've heard mention it, either doesn't care about River Ridge and/or likes Biltmore Park.

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Well, there ya go. We travel in different circles, it seems. I really would like an answer to my question regarding who you think their clientel is that is exclusive to Biltmore Park or at least isn't in Asheville proper.

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