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Ever Changing Grocery Market

November 24, 2014 Featured, Retail 7 Comments

The grocery industry, like many industries, continues to evolve. In the UK, for example, analysts are suggesting one out of five stores need to close to grow profits.  Closer to home, Whole Foods is building a new store in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods:

That proposition entails unusually high stakes for a supermarket. Whole Foods is gambling that it can tailor its high-priced brand to a low-income market. It’s gambling that it can create customers out of people who out of necessity have long shopped at corner stores and Save-A-Lot. It’s gambling that it may even change what some of them eat. (Washington Post

This year we saw the opening of Fields Foods south of downtown, the closure of a Schnuck’s on North Grand and a new chain, Lucky’s Market in a former Straub’s in Ellisville. Never heard of Lucky’s? It started expanding outside of Boulder CO in January 2013:

Lucky’s founder Bo Sharon has partnered with industry veterans — including former executives of Wild Oats and Sunflower Farmers Markets — to launch Lucky’s Farmers Market, a chain of full-service grocery stores that offer a mix of mainstream, natural, organic and locally grown foods. 

Lucky’s Farmers Market officials quietly launched a website touting their intentions to open stores in the “Heartland of America,” including in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. (Source)

This month I’ve shopped at both of the open Lucky’s Markets in Missouri: Columbia & Ellisville. A friend told me they were a cross between Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods, but I think they’re closer to a less expensive Whole Foods, with very little in common with Trader Joe’s. Unlike Trader Joe’s, Lucky’s Market is a full service grocery store with butchers, deli, salad bar, sushi bar, and hot prepared foods.

Local chain Straub’s wasn’t open long at this location:

Less than a year after opening, Straub’s in Ellisville plans to close, leaving 50 workers without jobs.

The Straub’s store at 15830 Fountain Plaza Drive, which opened Dec. 3, 2008, will close Oct. 31, Trip Straub, vice president of Straub’s Markets, said Tuesday. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Staub’s still has four long-time locations: Town & Country (1966), Webster Groves, Clayton (1933), and the city’s Central West End neighborhood (1948). Next year a new Whole Foods will open in the CWE, just a few blocks from Straub’s.

The deli and bakery in the Columbia MO Lucky's Market
The deli and bakery in the Columbia MO Lucky’s Market
Overview of the Lucky's Market in the St. Louis suburb of Ellisville
Overview of the Lucky’s Market in the St. Louis suburb of Ellisville
The 2nd St. Louis area Lucky's Market will be in Rock Hill
The 2nd St. Louis area Lucky’s Market will be in the Market at McKnight shopping center in Rock Hill
Whole Foods will occupy the ground floor of City Walk at Euclid & Pine
Whole Foods will occupy the ground floor of City Walk at Euclid & Pine
Fields Foods, November 22, 2014
Fields Foods, November 22, 2014

I think Lucky’s Market has the mix of products that Fields Foods is going for, but on a larger scale. Hopefully the locally-owned Fields Foods will scale up in the future so their prices can come down. I look forward to the opening of the new Whole Foods in the CWE but I also want a Trader Joe’s and a Lucky’s Market in the city.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. RyleyinSTL says:

    I’m glad to see more grocery competition moving into the metro. I’m not sure what other transplants feel on the subject, but even after +7 years, the Wife Unit and I have never warmed to Dierbergs/Schnucks. Corn fed meat, deplorable bakeries and the strange way they bag the groceries (pile items up into a big mountain and then bag them) are among our top quibbles.

     
  2. JZ71 says:

    Lucky’s has another location under construction in Rock Hill, on Manchester: http://www.luckysmarket.com/location/rock-hill-mo/

     
  3. Rebecca B says:

    I’m glad for the expansion of the smaller market-sized stores. I prefer TJ’s and Whole Foods’ options to Dierbergs, though Dierbergs selection of organic, gluten-free, and grass-feed or hormone-free meat options is expanding (if only a little). Trouble finding a desirable grocer is part of why we moved to the county in 2004, and this type of growth and development in the city is part of why we’d consider moving back to the city when we are ready to move into a larger home.

     
    • JZ71 says:

      Lucky’s is moving into the ‘burbs, not the city.

       
      • Rebecca B says:

        I understand that — it’s right up the street from my current community. When I last lived in the city in 2003-2004, large grocery stores were few and far between (I lived in Soulard and shopped either at Gravois and Grand or in Brentwood). Whole Foods in the CWE, Culinaria, and other such options make building a life in the city better. That’s my point.

         
  4. Thomas R Shrout Jr says:

    Straubs will need to step up its game and lower its prices if it is to survive increased competition.

     

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