Initial demolition work is underway at the old Shoppers Food grocery store near Eastpoint Mall as a first step toward the opening of a new full-service food market there next year, a spokesman at Redner’s Markets Inc. confirmed this week.
The opening of the new store is expected in summer 2012, said Eric B. White, consumer communications specialist at Reading, PA-based Redner’s. When opened, the store will be Maryland's fourth Redner’s, which already has 36 other supermarkets in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, he said.
Initial demolition work began Oct. 17 under the direction of Douglassville, PA-based SMJ Construction, the general contractor for the work, according to White.
The new store plan is a replacement for a similar plan by Redner’s to open a store in Essex that was announced back in March, White said. Planned for the Country Ridge Shopping Center, the project was scrapped when Redner’s and the landlord were unable to agree on improvements to the property, he said.
After renovation, the new store near Dundalk will measure 50,243 square feet. It will employ about 150 workers in both full-time and part-time positions, according to Redner’s.
“This is something that is actually needed in the neighborhood, so I am very glad to hear about it,” said David Hyland, president of the Colgate Improvement Association, a neighborhood community group that serves an area that includes the new Redner’s site.
“We have 1,100 homes in the Colgate community, and we have quite few elderly people. For those without cars of their own, this will be a real benefit,” Hyland said.
The old Shoppers Food building has been vacant for about five years, he said, so the opening of Redner’s should also have the benefit of increasing consumer traffic and stimulating new business in the area.
The Redner’s store will be a full-service market, White said, including features such as: in-store bakery; meat, deli and seafood departments; a complete fresh produce section; dairy and frozen foods; and a health/beauty aids department.
The company is also planning to offer its “Redner’s Pump Perks” fuel discount program that allows customers to obtain credit at local service stations for gasoline purchases. Participating local gas stations have not yet been finalized, White said.
Redner’s will include automated “UScan Check-Out Terminals,” with ATM-type technology that allows shoppers to make purchases with cash, credit cards or debit cards, the company said.
Redner’s has operated food stores in Pennsylvania for more than 40 years and began its expansion in Maryland in 2005, according to a company history posted on the chain's website. It opened its first Maryland store that year in Elkton, and later added stores in Bel Air and Joppatowne.
Redner’s has a continuing interest in expanding in Maryland, and is especially interested in the Harford County and eastern Baltimore County locations, White said.
In addition to the supermarkets, Redner’s operates 13 Quick Shoppe convenience stores, although none of these are located in Maryland.