Price Chopper to invest heavily in concept store
LATHAM Price Chopper unveiled plans today for a new concept store in Latham that will be the centerpiece for the chain’s future growth and the store by which “all others will be judged,” officials said.
In the next two months, workers will start construction on a 10,000-square-foot addition to the Latham store that will feature a restaurant room with fresh, made-to-order food and a bevy of new amenities and offerings. The restaurant row will have indoor seating for 140 people and 16 fast-casual dining options. These include: a “Chef’s Grill” section with steak, seafood and pasta; a design-your-own burger and hotdog section; a New England style fish fry; international cuisine ranging from burritos to quesadillas to Indian dishes; a salad garden and vegetarian/vegan bar; sandwiches and subs; and meat rotisserie, among others.
The prototype store will also feature a cooking school at the front of the store, where local and national chefs teach recipes, techniques and food trends. Price Chopper will also jump on the organic food craze, setting up an organic bazaar that includes produce grown and harvested right in the store. Other new offerings include a Starbucks cafe, a drive-thru pharmacy, a floral living wall, and a seafood waterfall.
At a news conference this morning, Price Chopper officials made it clear that the concept store is their most ambitious makeover project ever. It kicks off a major two-year renovation campaign to expand and renovate eight other stores across the Capital Region. The overall investment will total nearly $61 million when they’re done.
At the Latham store alone, 60 food service jobs will be added to an employee roster of about 350. Officials couldn’t provide a number for the overall expected job growth from the campaign. Price Chopper currently employs about 10,000 in the Capital Region.
Plans for a new concept store began in 2009 when Price Chopper decided to lease the former Bon Ton space adjacent to its Latham Store on Route 9.
Since then, the region has experienced a grocery store boom, with natural food stores moving into the region and other supermarkets adding locations here. Price Chopper officials directly addressed the ever-increasing gamut of competitors, but reaffirmed their commitment to be the Capital Region’s first choice for food.
The Latham store will remain open during construction, which is expected to take anywhere from a year to 14 months to complete.
“The Capital Region has always been our hometown,” said Price Chopper President and CEO Jerry Golub in a news release. “So we’ve known for a long time that this is a great place to live, work and do business. This major investment with our new concept store as the centerpiece reflects our ongoing commitment to our hometown and to our customers.”