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Markets & Stores

Does Size Matter?

Querencia | Jan 9, 201710:55 PM     4

In Chicago we think our new Mariano's supermarket chain has big stores---I usually go to their store that is 83,678 square feet and almost need roller skates to get around it. But over Christmas I visited Virginia where the Wegman's chain makes Mariano's look like a 7-11---the Wegman's I went to is 140,000 square feet and it's not the biggest in the chain. And of course the trend in these big new stores is extras like wine bars, fresh oyster bars, cheese rooms, gelato parlors, and much else beyond the familiar in-store bakery. Meanwhile, I read that WholeFoods is going smaller and of course our well-loved Trader Joe's stores are tiny. So I started wondering what Chowhounders think about these size trends in our grocery stores. (To give you a context, the average US supermarket is 46,500 square feet. Also, in France I was in a "hypermarket" so vast that it had 42 checkout lines but did not have the luxury attractions associated in the US with megastores---which makes me wonder what the correlation is between enormity and spending more for exotic goodies---considerable, I would guess). Any comments?

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