The former Safeway store in Bear's Governor' s Square Shopping Center will have a new occupant by the end of the year. The store is about 10.5 miles east of Elkton.
Work is under way on the former 53,000-square-foot building that will gain an extra 10,000 square feet as it becomes a Shoprite store. That's according to Delaware Supermarkets officials Rich Mestro and Dan Tanzer, director of operations and marketing director respectively.
The Kenny family, owner of Delaware Supermarkets, has steadily expanded the store group over the years and now has locations in Stanton, Newark, north Wilmington and most recently the Wilmington riverfront.
Delawareonline.com reported cost of renovation and expansion of the former Safeway site will run into the millions of dollars. The expansion will extend into a small portion of the shopping center as well as an addition to the existing supermarket building.
Shoprite, which operates as a cooperative grocery wholesaler under the Wakefern Foods name, serves individually owned Shoprite stores.
According to Maestro and Tanzer, Shoprite had been interested in the Bear area for a number of years, at one point announcing plans for a store at a new shopping center site to the east of Governor's Square. Market studies. continued to point to the potential of the area. When the Safeway store site became available, the company saw an opportunity to expand, the executives noted.
The Bear store is in a busy location near Routes 1, 7 and 40. Despite reports that the Safeway store was losing money when it closed, rumors that Shoprite and other grocers were interested in the site continued to make the rounds.
Delaware Supermarkets' newest store, in the riverfront area of Wilmington, features an upscale appearance and expanded departments.
The new store in Bear will include the features of the Wilmington location, including a restaurant. Unlike the Wilmington location, the Bear store will not have a pharmacy. Employment will total 180.
Shoprite has been gaining market share in the Delaware Valley as other chains have been closing stores
One competitor, A&P, owner of Superfresh and Pathmark stores, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and closed a store in the Glasgow area..
Published reports have indicated that Shoprite has overtaken Acme in market share in the Delwaare Valley.