Specialty retailers eye Texas for growth

01/18/2013 09:33:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

The long-awaited first Trader Joe’s stores opened in Dallas and Houston in the past year, and the company has several more planned for the market in 2013 and 2014.

In addition to the two stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the two in Houston, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s has plans for one store in Austin and two more stores are in development for the Dallas market. According to the Monrovia, Calif.-based retailer’s website, the Austin location is scheduled for a 2014 opening.

Things are shaking up in Houston as well. Longtime high-end retailer Rice Epicurean Markets announced in November it was closing all but one of its stores and leasing the space to Greensboro, N.C.-based specialty retailer The Fresh Market Inc.

The Fresh Market plans to open four stores in Houston in former Rice Epicurean locations in late 2013, said Drewry Sackett, marketing and community relations manager. Rice Epicurean plans to close stores starting in early January, with remodels by The Fresh Market to follow.

Sackett said the stores will range from 18,000 to 23,000 square feet.

“Our stores have an Old-World feel and are more intimate than a typical supermarket,” Sackett said. “Our Houston stores will follow the same concept, providing customers with the same experience.”

Sackett said The Fresh Market works with several produce distributors in the markets where its 129 stores operate, but also places emphasis on working with local growers and manufacturers.

“We have an extensive program for supporting local farmers in order to offer local produce in our stores,” Sackett said.

The Fresh Market has opened 16 stores duringthe past year, and plans for expansion in California, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania.



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