Price Rite

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Price Rite
Retailers' cooperative
Founded1995; 24 years ago (1995) in West Springfield, Massachusetts
HeadquartersKeasbey, New Jersey, U.S.
Number of locations
62 (2019)
Area served
Key people
Joseph S. Colalillo (Chairman and CEO)
Joe Sheridan (President and COO)
Number of employees
4,000+ (2018)
ParentWakefern Food Corporation
Websitewww.priceritesupermarkets.com

Price Rite is a chain of limited-assortment supermarkets found in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Based in Keasbey, New Jersey, Price Rite is owned by New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corporation, the cooperative behind ShopRite Supermarkets, Dearborn Market, and The Fresh Grocer. Prior to 2014, Wakefern owned and operated all Price Rite stores.

As of 2019, there were 62 Price Rite supermarkets in the rapidly-growing chain; three of those, found in New Jersey, are individually operated by Wakefern cooperative members.

Overview[edit]

Similar to other limited-assortment chains, including Aldi and Save-A-Lot, Price Rite offers drastically fewer stock-keeping units (SKUs) than its sibling ShopRite stores, which are conventional supermarkets. Price Rite stores operate on the same principles as their competition; however, they are a bit bigger (averaging 35,000 sq ft (3,300 m2)) and concentrate on offering a larger “fresh food” selection.

Price Rite also emphasizes the fact that its stores are American-owned, by incorporating the phrase "An American Company" into its trademark. This is presumably to highlight the fact that much of Price Rite's competition is owned by European Union-based entities (Aldi is German-owned).

Due to the generic nature of the name "Price Rite", and the unfamiliarity with the brand outside the Northeast, Wakefern has also begun distributing Price Rite-branded merchandise, such as health-and-beauty, paper products, foodstuffs, and dairy products to other retail outlets, such as dollar stores, mom-and-pop pharmacies, and corner stores, along with other supermarkets such as Gristedes Operating Corp., which owns Gristedes Supermarkets in New York City. Due to Gristedes' partnership with Amazon, selected Price Rite-branded products also are available for sale on that website. Price Rite products are also the store brand for discount stores such as National Wholesale Liquidators.

For most of the chain's existence, the Wakefern cooperative has been very careful not to cannibalize sales of its member-owned ShopRite stores by opening Price Rite stores in overlapping trade areas—thus, most Price Rite stores were opened in New England or Pennsylvania, outside ShopRite's core regions. In 2013, the co-operative announced that it would allow its members to operate their own Price Rite stores. Since then, new Price Rite stores have opened within a few miles of ShopRite supermarkets in places such as: Camden and Garfield, New Jersey.[1]

History[edit]

Price Rite Marketplace[edit]

Price Rite Marketplace Store on the day of its Grand Re-Opening in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

PriceRite Logo.png

In response to a changing retail and competitive landscape, Price Rite began the process of modernizing their stores and enhancing their appearance by updating their logo and expanding their name to Price Rite Marketplace in 2017. The updated logo and name were chosen to reflect the expanded product selection and the many changes that had been made in their stores over the years since the original Price Rite limited-assortment format was launched in 1995. Accompanying the new logo and name change were updated graphics and signage, to help improve the shopping experience. While still limited-assortment in nature, Price Rite Marketplace stores carry more SKUs (items) than many of the limited-assortment discount Grocery stores that they generally compete against (Aldi, Lidl, Save-A-Lot) while offering a smaller format that some shoppers find to be a convenient alternative to a full-size Supermarket.[2]

The next major step of the evolution of the Price Rite Marketplace format took place in October 2018 when three stores in the Pennsylvania market area (Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Secane, Pennsylvania) were relaunched to reflect a new updated store format with many additional enhancements designed to further improve the customer experience.[3]

The changes include redesigned and simplified store layouts, market-style Produce departments with LED lighting, updated store décor and signage, revised item assortments, technology upgrades (including Self-checkout equipment) and a large investment on pricing with lower prices on many items throughout the store.

Price Rite Limited Assortment Stores[edit]

Price Rite Store being setup and prepared for Grand Opening in Vestal, New York in 2012, in a former Circuit City.

Old Price Rite Logo.jpg

It was 1995 when Wakefern Food Corporation opened its first limited-assortment concept store in West Springfield, Massachusetts. After failing to successfully enter the warehouse club concept with their PriceRite Warehouse Club (see below), Wakefern assigned the Price Rite name to its newest prototype: a limited-assortment, deep-discount supermarket meant to do battle with the no-frills operators which were successfully spreading across North America, such as Aldi, Food Basics, and Save-a-Lot.

In the years since the first Price Rite opened, the concept has been tweaked to emphasize the size and freshness of the perishable departments in comparison to its competition. Newer stores, such as the Price Rite of Brockton, Massachusetts (at over 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2)) are also larger than most of the earlier stores. Wakefern has also used the concept as a replacement for under-performing ShopRite stores or in regions where the Price Rite concept was thought to be more successful. As a result, under-performing ShopRite supermarkets in places such as York, Pennsylvania and Wethersfield, Connecticut have been converted to very successful Price Rite stores, keeping jobs and a supermarket in these towns. The Torrington, Connecticut Price Rite was a former ShopRite store that had sat unused for almost 10 years before it was opened as Price Rite.

Price Rite stores which opened in the 1990s or early 2000s lack the service departments found in conventional modern supermarkets, such as Deli, Bakery, Meat, and Seafood. These service departments are replaced by pre-packaged offerings prepared at centralized facilities which reduces cost for the store. More recently opened stores have started to add certain service departments, depending on both space available and on regional requirements. In Baltimore, a Price Rite store which opened in 2012 has a Full-Service Seafood Department, reflecting local tastes that favor a fresher, more diverse seafood selection; New Hampshire's first Price Rite store, opening in 2015 in Manchester, features a full-service deli.

In 2008, Wakefern opened the first Price Rite Marketplace store, in Providence, Rhode Island, at a former Shaw's. The store is 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2), and features multiple Full-Service Departments, including a Deli and Seafood Department. Other non-standard features in the Providence Price Rite have included a fresh-roasted peanut stand, and store-made mozzarella cheese. As with most Price Rite stores, the Providence store has a significant focus on ethnic items, with an entire aisle of Goya products, and an aisle of Italian items including fresh pasta and specialty cheeses.

In 2005, a Price Rite store was opened in Azusa, California, in partnership with K.V.Mart Co., which is an independent supermarket operator in southern California. A second store followed in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawaiian Gardens. Both stores were closed in 2013 and the partnership between Wakefern and K.V.Mart Co. was ended.

In 2014, Wakefern announced that the Price Rite banner was to be made available to all of its cooperative members, so they can open and operate their own Price Rite outlets. The first of these stores, which is owned and operated by cooperative member Inserra Supermarkets Inc., opened on July 1, 2014, in Garfield, New Jersey.[4]

Price Rite Bermuda[edit]

In 2007, a Price Rite store was opened in Pembroke, Bermuda, marking the first Price Rite store outside of the U.S. The store is owned and operated by The Marketplace Group Ltd. of Bermuda, which owns 7 Marketplace Supermarkets and has been a wholesale customer of Wakefern for years, even selling ShopRite-branded products in its Marketplace stores in Bermuda. On January 20, 2016, the company opened a second, larger Price Rite store in the Bermuda parish of Warwick.[5] The Bermuda stores operate under a franchise agreement with Wakefern, and The Marketplace Group Ltd. is not a Wakefern member. While these stores use the Price Rite logo, the merchandise mix differs significantly from the U.S. stores. The Bermuda stores are more similar to warehouse clubs, selling mostly bulk-sized and club-sized products, as well as toys, electronics and softlines.[6] The stores sell Price Rite-branded merchandise, but also feature Costco Wholesale's Kirkland Signature brand as well as national brands. The Bermuda stores operate their own website, separately from the U.S. stores: www.pricerite.bm

PriceRite Warehouse Clubs[edit]

During the 1980s and early 1990s, many American supermarket chains experimented with opening their own warehouse clubs to compete with the new clubs that were invading their trade areas and stealing their business. SuperValu had Max-Club, Meijer had SourceClub, H-E-B had its Bodega clubs, and Wakefern decided to follow suit wjth PriceRite clubs. Wakefern defined PriceRite as a “mini-club”, and at under 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2)., promoted it as a convenient alternative to the massive conventional clubs.

The logo initially used for PriceRite was the same as a former ShopRite logo, only instead of the graphic of a shopping carriage with circles inside, there was a flatbed cart with square boxes on it to symbolize the wholesale nature of the PriceRite Mini Clubs. (This saved costs on new sign-frames for the stores, since they all were previously a ShopRite and already had round sign-frames)

PriceRite Mini-Clubs were opened in buildings that had previously housed ailing or outdated ShopRite stores and had been simply retrofitted with warehouse-type shelving. Thus, they lacked size, and didn't have enough of a following to attract shoppers away from the true warehouse competition (BJ's Wholesale Club and Price Club), which were opening all over the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

Wakefern members operated PriceRite mini-clubs in Rockaway Township, Fishkill, NY and Toms River, New Jersey. The last Price Rite club closed in 1994.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wakefern Reports Record Sales; 16 New Units In Real Estate Plan". Food Trade News. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Price Rite Marketplace Announces Rebranding | PriceRite". newsroom.priceritesupermarkets.com. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. ^ "Price Rite Marketplace Reimagines Shopping Experience | PriceRite". newsroom.priceritesupermarkets.com. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  4. ^ Joan Verdon (April 14, 2014). "Discount grocer PriceRite to open first New Jersey store in Garfield". Northjersey.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  5. ^ "Premier opens new Price Rite". royalgazette.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  6. ^ "New Price Rite store to open". royalgazette.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  7. ^ "About Questia | Questia, Your Online Research Library". Retrieved November 28, 2006.[dead link][dead link]

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