PriceRite Grocery Depot in Azusa, California, near Los Angeles
|Founded||1995West Springfield, Massachusettsin|
|Headquarters||Wethersfield, Connecticut, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Joseph S. Colalillo (Chairman and CEO)
Joe Sheridan (President and COO,
|Parent||Wakefern Food Corporation|
PriceRite is a chain of limited-assortment supermarkets found in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. Based in Wethersfield, Connecticut, PriceRite is owned by New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corporation, the company also behind the famous ShopRite cooperative. Wakefern itself previously owned and operated all PriceRite stores.
As of July, 2014, there are 60 PriceRite supermarkets in the rapidly growing chain, which opened six supermarkets in 2009, and four in 2010.
Similar to other limited-assortment chains, including Aldi and Save-A-Lot, PriceRite offers drastically fewer SKUs (stock-keeping units) than its sibling ShopRite stores, which are conventional supermarkets. PriceRite 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.
PriceRite also emphasizes the fact that its stores are American-owned, by incorporating the phrase "An American Company" into the PriceRite trademark. This is presumably to highlight the fact that much of PriceRite's competition is owned by European Union-based entities (Aldi is German-owned and Bottom Dollar Food is Belgian-owned).
Due to the generic nature of the name "PriceRite", and the unfamiliarity with the brand outside the Northeast, Wakefern has also begun distributing PriceRite-branded merchandise, such as health-and-beauty, paper products, and foodstuffs to other retail outlets, such as dollar stores, mom-and-pop pharmacies, and corner stores, and other supermarkets such as Gristedes Operating Corp., which owns Gristedes Supermarkets in New York City. Due to Gristedes' partnership with amazon.com, selected PriceRite-branded products also are available for sale on Amazon.com.
Because of its cooperative structure, Wakefern has been very careful not to cannibalize sales of its member-owned ShopRite stores by opening PriceRite stores in overlapping trade areas—thus, most PriceRites are in New England or Pennsylvania, outside ShopRite's core regions, though locations of both sister chains can be within miles of each other.
PriceRite Limited Assortment Stores
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 PriceRite 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 (Aldi, Food Basics, Save-a-Lot.)
In the years since the first PriceRite 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 PriceRite 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 PriceRite concept was thought to be more successful. As a result, underperforming ShopRite supermarkets in places such as York, Pennsylvania and Wethersfield, Connecticut have been converted to very successful PriceRite stores, keeping jobs and a supermarket in these towns. The Torrington, Connecticut PriceRite was a former ShopRite store that had sat unused for almost 10 years before it was opened as PriceRite.
Stores opened in the 1990's or early 2000's feature no service departments as one would find in a conventional supermarket, such as Deli/Appy, 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 PriceRite which opened in 2012 included a service Seafood department, reflecting local tastes that favor a fresher, more diverse seafood selection; a New Hampshire store opened in 2015 features a full-service deli.
In 2008, Wakefern opened the first PriceRite Marketplace store in Providence, Rhode Island, at a former Shaw's. The store is 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2), and features multiple service departments, such as Deli, Seafood, and a Cafe Bustelo-branded cafe in the store. Other non-standard features in the Providence PriceRite include a fresh-roasted peanut stand, and mozzarella cheese which is made in the store. Like most PriceRite 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 PriceRite 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 PriceRite banner was to be made available to all of its cooperative members, so they can open and operate their own PriceRite 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.
PriceRite Warehouse Clubs
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, and H-E-B had its Bodega clubs. Meanwhile, Wakefern began PriceRite. 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 PriceRite logo is 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 PriceRite. (This saved costs on new sign-frames for the stores, since they all were previously a ShopRite and already had round sign-frames)
PriceRite MiniClubs 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, Pace Warehouse Club, and Price Club), which won over the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
- "PRICERITE COMES TO CAMDEN". PriceRite News. Newsroom.priceitesupermarkets.com. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "ShopRite's encore". Timesunion.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- Joan Verdon (April 14, 2014). "Discount grocer PriceRite to open first New Jersey store in Garfield". Northjersey.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
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