The former PriceRite Grocery Depot in Azusa, California, near Los Angeles
|Founded||1995West Springfield, Massachusettsin|
|Headquarters||Elizabeth, NJ, 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 Elizabeth, New Jersey, PriceRite is owned by New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corporation, the cooperative behind ShopRite Supermarkets and The Fresh Grocer. Prior to 2014, Wakefern owned and operated all PriceRite stores.
As of February 2016, there were 62 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 stock-keeping units (SKUs) 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 its 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, foodstuffs, and dairy products 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 that website. PriceRite 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 PriceRite stores in overlapping trade areas—thus, most PriceRites 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 PriceRite stores. Since then, new PriceRite stores have opened within a few miles of ShopRite supermarkets in places such as: Camden and Garfield, New Jersey. In 2016, a former Pathmark store on Aramingo Avenue in Philadelphia (which had been an Acme Markets location prior to Pathmark's occupancy) will re-open as a PriceRite just one block from a ShopRite store; both will be operated by Ammons Supermarkets.
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, such as 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.
PriceRite stores which opened in the 1990s or early 2000s lack the service departments found in conventional modern supermarkets, 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 store which opened in 2012 has a service seafood department, reflecting local tastes that favor a fresher, more diverse seafood selection; New Hampshire's first PriceRite store, opening in 2015 in Manchester, 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, including Deli, Seafood, and a Cafe Bustelo-branded cafe. Other non-standard features in the Providence PriceRite include a fresh-roasted peanut stand, and store-made mozzarella cheese. As with 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.
In 2007, a PriceRite store was opened in Pembroke, Bermuda, marking the first PriceRite store outside of the US. 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 PriceRite store in the Bermuda city of Warwick. 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 PriceRite logo, the merchandise mix differs significantly from the US stores. The Bermuda stores are more warehouse clubs, selling mostly bulk-sized and club-sized products, as well as toys, electronics and softlines. The stores sell PriceRite-branded merchandise, but also feature the Kirkland brand as well as national brands. The Bermuda stores operate their own website, separately from the US Stores: www.pricerite.bm
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.
- "Wakefern Reports Record Sales; 16 New Units In Real Estate Plan". Food Trade News. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- Joan Verdon (April 14, 2014). "Discount grocer PriceRite to open first New Jersey store in Garfield". Northjersey.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "Premier opens new Price Rite". royalgazette.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- "New Price Rite store to open". royalgazette.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20110516140001/http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-12843809.html. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2006. Missing or empty