||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (February 2011)|
|Traded as||NASDAQ: FWM|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Key people||Charles Santoro, Chairman
Herb Ruetsch, CEO
Bill Sanford, President
Howie Glickberg, Vice Chairman of Development
Fairway Market is a grocery chain. Founded in the 1930s, it is one of the United States' highest grossing food retailers per square foot with 14 million customers per year. The stores are known for vast selections of fresh products and everyday groceries at a good value. The Fairway stores carry a wide variety of private label products in specialty and basic items. Fairway has had significant store expansion in the New York area, with 11 locations in the tri-state area including 11 food markets and 3 wine and spirit shops.
The flagship store still occupies the original Broadway location at West 74th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with larger locations in Harlem; the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn; Paramus, New Jersey; Plainview, Long Island; Pelham Manor, New York; Stamford, Connecticut; and Woodland Park, New Jersey. In 2011, Fairway expanded even further with two more locations: one on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which opened July 20th, and the other in Douglaston, Queens, which opened on November 16th. In 2012, Fairway Market opened three more locations: Woodland Park, New Jersey on June 6,Westbury, Long Island on August 22, and in Kips Bay in midtown Manhattan in late December. The company currently employs about 4,000 people.
Sterling Investment Partners bought a controlling stake in Fairway Market in 2007. In 2011, the chain had revenues of $550 million. It was spun off in an IPO on April 17, 2013, trading under its parent Fairway Group Holdings on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol FWM.
Innovation and selection
Fairway Market's stores balance their presentation of everyday must-have staples, signature Fairway brand items, specialty foods and popular consumer brands. As Fairway Market expands its presence within the tri-state region, the stores get larger, often with in-store cafés. The typical Fairway features:
- Huge selection of imported specialty items
- More than 600 artisanal cheeses
- Dozens of hot dishes prepared fresh in Fairway's kitchen
- More than 100 varieties of olive oils including unfiltered barrel oils imported exclusively from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and California
- Over 80 coffees from all over the world, roasted on premises
- Aisles with more than 90,000 traditional, specialty, and organic groceries
- Vast selection of gluten-free groceries and frozen foods
- Homemade mozzarella, sushi, pastas and sausage
- Enormous array of smoked salmon, various smoked fishes, and Fairway house-smoked salmon
- Custom-cut meats and poultry
- Fresh Glatt Kosher meats and poultry produced under strict rabbinical supervision
- Hand-selected, dry-aged USDA Prime beef
- Produce delivered fresh from farms to store, with no warehousing
- More than 70 types of olives
- Full line of organic produce
- Fresh, made-from-scratch baked goods
- Kosher bakery
- Organic and natural health and beauty aids
- Floral and plant department
- Full-service catering department
Fairway claims a unique positioning within the regional retail grocery business, based on its long history, extensive offerings, dramatic store environments, and competitive pricing.
In January 2007, Sterling Investment Partners, Westport, CT private equity firm, acquired Fairway Market and committed to substantially expanding Fairway in the greater NY metropolitan area. Sterling made a $150 million capital investment in Fairway four years ago, and has thus far committed to in excess of $100 million for Fairway’s expansion, enabling Fairway to grow rapidly and generating 2,100 new jobs in the tri-state area in the last 18 months.
Sterling Investment Partners is a private equity fund that invests in companies with significant competitive strengths and growth potential. Founded in 1991, Sterling has completed investments, strategic or add-on acquisitions, and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $8.5 billion, representing over 80 transactions.
Charles Santoro, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Sterling, is now the Chairman of Fairway. Herb Ruetsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, works with the Fairway team to operate and grow the company. Howie Glickberg, the grandson of the founder, remains active in the business as the Vice Chairman of Development.
The original Fairway Market, at West 74th Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was a modest produce shop. By 1997 it had expanded to a multistory operation. The store is characterized by floor-to-ceiling produce displays, plus the company's wide selection of cheese, meats, fish, specialty foods, and organics. A store café serves sandwiches, burgers, and breakfast, and becomes a steakhouse by night.
In 1995, Fairway's Harlem store opened in a significantly larger space. This store features a 10,000-square-foot (930 m) enclosed space, the "Cold Room", which contains the store's meats, seafood, dairy products, and beer. Silver coats hang nearby for customers who wish to keep warm while browsing the freezer.
In 2001, the company opened its first store outside the city, in the Long Island community of Plainview. In 2006, it opened its fourth store, in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Fairway's fifth store opened on March 25, 2009, in the Fashion Center shopping mall in suburban Paramus, New Jersey, its first store west of the Hudson River.
Growth and expansion
On April 14, 2010, Fairway opened a new branch in the Westchester village of Pelham Manor directly across The Bronx border. This became Fairway's third location in the New York City suburbs and sixth overall. The company signed a lease on a 75,000 sq ft (6,967.7 m2) site formerly occupied by Kmart.
Fairway’s seventh location opened in November 2010 in Stamford, CT, and the store employs over 500 people. The Stamford, CT store is the largest one to date at over 80,000 square feet. It features all of the items that Fairway shoppers are familiar with, an adjacent Fairway Wines & Spirits store, plus Fairway's in-house cookie operation, where cookies are baked fresh daily.
With the Pelham Manor opening, Fairway expanded its offering to its customers with their first 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) wine and spirit super store adjacent to the market. Their second wine and spirit super store is adjacent to the Stamford market and is 6,500 square feet (600 m2). Both feature approximately 2,200 wines and more than 350 varieties of spirits from around the world. There is a temperature controlled room for the high-end wines, a tasting bar, and a staff of specialists and sommeliers on the premises.
In 2011, Fairway opened two new locations, one on the upper Eastside of Manhattan on 86th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and one in Douglaston, Queens, generating more than 1,000 additional new jobs in the tri-state region.
In June 2012, Fairway opened its tenth food store and third Wine and Spirits Store in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Fairway Market will open a 68,000-square-foot store in the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury in August, 2012. The store is expected to bring 400 - 500 new jobs to the community. In December 2012, Fairway opened the Kips Bay location on East 30th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.
Online and Media presence
FairwayMarket.com features Fairway's blog, videos with Dan Glickberg (fourth generation of the founding family), Chef Mitchel London, and other Fairway experts. The site includes information such as weekly specials, events and news, recipes from head chef, Mitchel London, and links to catering services and Fairway Marketplace, where customers can shop for Fairway products online.
Fairway also maintains a Facebook and Twitter page for their main stores and one for their Wines & Spirits stores. Shoppers can find information on Facebook and Twitter about specials, quotes from Fairway personalities, food facts, event information, contests and giveaways, and the latest on store openings.
Fairway is featured in "Farm to Fairway," a half hour show on NBC's 1st Look. Fairway hosts "At The Table," a weekly segment on WOR on Wednesdays at 12:40 PM. "At The Table" focuses on food trends and supplies a Recipe of the Week. Also, The Joe Bartlett Show on WOR spotlights Fairway on Saturdays at 8:30 AM on "To the Market," where Fairway experts discuss what to look for when weekend grocery shopping.
On February 26, 2009, Fairway Market was featured on MTV's The Real World. The cast of the show stopped by the grocer's Red Hook location during a demonstration on how to carve a turkey. Fairway also made an appearance in "You've Got Mail," the 1998 film starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and the television show "Law and Order." The Amazing Spider Man (2012) film also features Fairway Market's Harlem store in several scenes.
Fairway makes a commitment to form friendships with its nearby communities. To accomplish this, not only does it offer a variety of diverse and cultural foods, but Fairway also partners with its surrounding communities in order to tackle issues within the neighborhood. From events like the Customer Appreciation BBQ, to donations to the Ronald McDonald House in NYC, to hosting BBQs with the FDNY, Fairway Market continues to work with the community to promote fun and unity. Fairway Market has partnered with the US Military and is among the largest suppliers of food and care packages for the Troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Every year during Thanksgiving, Fairway has made it a tradition to give a happy holiday to those less fortunate. In all of its locations, Fairway donates food to shelters and food banks so that people who can’t afford a good Thanksgiving dinner can get one for free. Along with turkeys, Fairways typically gives the usual holiday fixings, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. Last year, just from its Uptown store, Fairway donated over 650 turkeys throughout the city.
- Reddy, Sumathi (11 July 2011). "Fairway Grocery Chain Targets an Expansion". The Wall Street Journal.
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- Healy, Peter (20 April 2009). "Antares loses control of Stamford office complex". Greenwich Time.com (Greenwich Time). Retrieved 24 April 2009.[dead link]
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