Kenny family Shoprites eye Dover market

20 JUNE, 2018

The CEO of a group of a group of northern Delaware Shoprite stores says the company is eying locations in Dover.

“We are currently negotiating with Brixmor the owners of the closed Acme site and also with three other potential sites owners in Dover. Hopefully one of these potential four sites will come to a final lease agreement,” says Chris Kenny, president of Delaware Supermarkets.

The Dover market opened up with the closing of the Acme Market store in north Dover. Acme – a part of Albertson’s which also owns Safeway – has been closing low-performing stores as it copes with competition, employee culture and other issues. The company still operates a Safeway store in Dover.

At present, the top two players in the Central Delaware market are Redner’s and the Walmart Supercenter. Reading, PA-based Redner’s also operates smaller store formats, some with gas stations. Other chains have departed the Dover area over the years with no grocer gaining a dominant market share.

Delaware Supermarkets, owned by the Kenny family, grew steadily after opening its original store in the Stanton area in the mid-‘90s. Its stores typically feature larger square footages than other non-Walmart competitors.

The Shoprite operator ’s growth accelerated with the opening several years ago with a non-traditional location on the edge of the Wilmington Riverfront and by acquiring and expanding former Pathmark and Safeway locations on each end of the sprawling Bear-Glasgow area south of Newark.

Shoprite itself is also on a growth track, picking up market share when the A&P chain folded. This occurred even though rival Acme acquired former A&P Pathmarks in northern Delaware and elsewhere.

Other Shoprites are in the Brookside area of Newark and in north Wilmington.

A Christiana River bridge that will link the area around the Shoprite to the nearly fully redeveloped area of the Riverfront is now under construction.

The Wilmington store is part of this riverfront area that will become the home of the 76ers Fieldhouse and the NBA G League affiliate, the Bluecoats. In the works are apartments and other developments in the area.

In northern Delaware, Shoprite is battling with Acme-Safeway for market share with the Philadelphia mainstay acquiring two former Pathmark locations in Milltown and Newark.

Other opportunities could crop up in the future for Shoprite.

Albertson’s currently has Safeway and Acme locations that are in close proximity to one another in north Wilmington and Bear-Glasgow. That has led to speculation that other closings are in the cards. For example, Safeway and Acme locations in north Wilmington are within a stone’s throw of one-another along Naamans Road.

Delaware Supermarkets, meanwhile, has worked to maintain a local touch by highlighting Delmarva produce and food products from local companies. The company is also active in the community through a family foundation.

Shoprite is a northern New Jersey-based cooperative that supplies markets owned by the Kenny family and other operators. Shoprite is now the largest supermarket chain in a region that includes the Delaware Valley, according to Food Trade News.

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