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A new Giant is coming to the Delaware River waterfront. An Aldi is opening on North Broad. A third Trader Joe’s has been rumored for South Philly.
It’s basically supermarket szn in Philadelphia. The city welcomed an explosive 56 grocery stores between 2015 and 2018 — and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Over the past two years, the Department of Licenses and Inspections has issued 255 permits for retail food sales, according to a spokesperson.
There’s still an imbalance across Philly neighborhoods, especially when it comes to healthy food. A recent report from the Health Department noted the city’s many “produce deserts,” i.e. places like North Philly, Hunting Park and Fairhill, where residents’ options are more often convenience shops selling honey buns instead of markets offering honeycrisp apples.
But as development filters outward from Center City, food stores are following. While a lot of the growth is in areas that were already well-served, some of the grocers and hybrid retail-food markets (think Target) have cropped up in spots that would’ve seemed totally unlikely a decade ago.
Here’s a roundup of the big players in Philly’s supermarket boom, including new launches and what to expect over the next year or so.
A Trader Joe’s with shorter lines
Status: Opened Oct. 22, 2019
Before October of last year, Trader Joe’s cult following had just one Philly option, at 22nd and Market streets. New TJs shoppers were turned off by the location’s super long lines and cramped aisles. So it was a breath of fresh air when the highly anticipated second Trader Joe’s outpost opened its doors near Broad and Arch streets.
German chain Lidl goes for the Northeast
Status: Opened Dec. 11 (Port Richmond), sometime in 2020 (Roosevelt Boulevard)
What’s pronounced like needle and is a fierce Aldi competitor overseas? That’s right, Lidl. The European supermarket chain opened its first Philly location in December 2019 near Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond.
What better to replace a Hooters than a Lidl, right? The German chain bought the former sports bar on Roosevelt Boulevard for $8 million last summer. A supermarket spokesperson told the Inquirer that the company’s second Philly location should open before the end of this year.
A lot of Heirlooms in a little time
Status: Opened Jan. 25 (Grad Hospital), Aug. 2 (University City), Nov. 15 (Northern Liberties), sometime in 2020 (Queen Village)
Carlile, Pa.-based retailer Giant really deepened its footprint in Philadelphia, opening three Heirloom markets with a fourth on the way. Heirloom is the company’s smaller grocery store concept, styled specifically for urban environments and featuring lots of local products.
The first opened at the beginning of last year in Graduate Hospital, followed by a summer UCity Giant launch and a fall Heirloom opening in Northern Liberties. A fourth, Queen Village location was scheduled to open in 2019.
A Giant Food Stores onslaught
Status: Fall 2020 (Logan Square); unknown (South Broad and Columbus Boulevard)
The 65,000-square-foot, two-story Giant flagship pegged for Center City’s Logan Square neighborhood is a departure from the chain’s pocket-sized markets that popped up around the city center. Located just a couple blocks from Trader Joe’s, Giant’s Philly flagship is expected to open this fall.
On Broad and Washington, a Giant is also planned for the Bart Blatstein mixed-use development there. Blatstein also signed Giant for his planned waterfront development on tje onetime potential casino site along Columbus Boulevard between Reed and Dickenson.
Aldi’s produce deals come to North Broad
Status: Opening fall or winter 2020
Right next to the Divine Lorraine, the structure is rising that’ll be home to the Aldi slated for the address for a couple years now. While the address is 1300 Fairmount Ave., it’s right on North Broad, and brings the area a much-needed supermarket.
Finally a supermarket for Mantua
Met Fresh Supermarket is expected to join long-awaited and at times controversial mixed-use development in West Philly’s Mantua neighborhood. The New Jersey-based grocery chain exists mostly in NYC, and is known to carry foods from a diverse variety of cultures around the globe.
Shuttered Shoprite being replaced in Overbrook
Status: Opening winter 2020
Shoprite owner Jeff Brown caused a stir when he closed one of his stores and blamed it on soda tax costs. Another market quickly jumped in. A new grocery store operator is coming to 67th and Haverford with a store opening date in or around February 2020.
Philly lost the bid, but Amazon’s still coming
Who knows when, but Amazon is rolling out a chain of grocery stores in Philly, Chicago and Los Angeles. The new supermarket endeavor is independent of Whole Foods, which the tech giant owns. According to the Wall Street Journal report, the stores are for “middle-income consumers” and will offer prepared foods alongside groceries.
A mystery market in Passyunk Square
There’s no word yet on what it’ll be, but alongside a sprawling, 170-apartment development planned for South Philly’s 1100 Wharton Street, a developer also wants to build space for a 20,000-square-foot grocery store. Unlike the nearby Acme, this proposed market will be smaller and cater more to foot traffic business.
There were rumors going around that it would be a third Trader Joe’s, but developer Leo Addimando told Billy Penn that was untrue. Said Addimando: “We are still in the early planning stages on that project and won’t have anything to announce until maybe next year.”