- Northern California grocer Raley’s has broken ground on a new flagship store in Sacramento, California, according to the Sacramento Bee. The store, which is slated to open in early 2020, will replace another Raley’s location a block away that has been in operation for 60 years.
- The new Raley’s will emphasize healthy living and destination meal offerings, with key features including a loft dining area, wine tasting room, sushi and bakery departments and 25,000 square feet of outdoor seating.
- The store is the center of a revitalization effort for the Sacramento neighborhood of Land Park and will anchor a new shopping center with Starbucks, Orange Theory Fitness and Pet Food Express.
As grocers across the country upgrade their stores and add splashier features to improve customer experience, they are also helping to reinvigorate communities in some cities. In Raley's case, the new location will boost a busy but aging area of Sacramento.
"Raley’s is proud to expand our long-standing relationship with the Land Park community with a modern shopping experience," Raley's spokesperson Chelsea Minor told Grocery Dive in an email. "As our flagship location, this store will offer customers something new, while still paying tribute to our strong past in the community."
Among similar efforts around the industry, Meijer that opened in downtown Detroit has been an important part of attracting new residents, while a planned Aldi in St. Paul, Minnesota is expected to help revitalize a developing area and serve a low-income community.
This is the first new Raley's store to be built since January 2018, Minor said.
Though no specific health-related details have been revealed, the new store is being billed as a health destination. Raley’s health-focused initiatives have been in high gear over the past year or so, with incremental shifts in the store’s offerings and operations to boost health and well-being for shoppers. The grocer has cut candy from its checkout lines, relaunched private label brands with clearer nutrition facts and packaging and hired a full-time nutritionist.
In addition, its wine tasting room, loft dining area and outdoor seating further illustrate Raley's pivot towards becoming a destination grocery store. Alcohol and food services are two of the most common additions to grocers' new stores. Giant Foods' launched a Beer and Wine Eatery inside four of its stores, which offered domestic and international wines and beers as well as eat-in or takeout foods. In-store wine and beer samplings have been offered by many supermarkets and are a savvy way to attract millennial shoppers. Wine, in particular, is a growing category as retailers sell about 44% of the wine in the U.S., according to Rabobank.