First look: The GIANT Company's new Philadelphia flagship supermarket

Date : 22 March 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Ahold Delhaize’s The GIANT Company has opened its new urban-focused flagship in Philadelphia. We look at how the retailer has developed an innovative format for this city-centre location.

A store for the community

The 65,000 sq ft store is located on the second floor of a 25-floor residential tower in the heart of the city. Overlooking the Schuylkill River, the store is the centre-piece of the city’s new Riverwalk mixed-use development and maximises this great location. 

Source: The GIANT Company

Conveniently located services include a GIANT Direct pickup station for orders placed online, a ground-level parking garage and a Starbucks. Residents of the apartments above the store also have exclusive access to a private elevator providing direct access to the store. This opening brings the retailer’s investment in the city to over $100m, building on the opening of three Heirloom Markets over the last two years.

Source: The GIANT Company

A key element of the store is a new food hall concept from the retailer. This offers shoppers a diverse range of options from established brands including Mission Taqueria, a locally-based operator, Saladworks and Hissho Sushi.

Source: The GIANT Company

The store also offers and made-to-order sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, smoked meats, hot foods and gelato. The latter is a first for the company. From the food hall, customers can take advantage of great views of the river and an outside dining terrace. The concept aligns with the retailer’s ‘For Today’s Table’ brand platform which encourages families to connect over a meal. Speaking exclusively with us, The GIANT Company's Director of Urban Retail, Paul Madarieta, highlighted how the terrace development had enabled the retailer to think creatively in terms of creating a social space, including featuring its first outside tap wall. 

Source: The GIANT Company

The signature produce department is designed to inspire shoppers to discover new ingredients and create healthy meals at home.

Source: The GIANT Company

It also features the retailer’s largest plant-based section.

Source: The GIANT Company

A full-service meat and seafood department features a new aged beef programme and sustainably sourced seafood, including fish, lobster and shellfish.

Source: The GIANT Company

The large cheese section offers a range of international, national and local cheeses, including items featuring Philabundance’s Abundantly Good cheese label that helps to support dairy farmers in the commonwealth. At the deli, customers will find an expanded range of prepared foods and grab-and-go meals, along with a charcuterie station and a mozzarella station featuring cannoli and other items from Spring Grove, a locally-based creamery. The store also features an extensive bakery and patisserie.

Source: The GIANT Company

The store features the company’s largest range of beer and wine.

Source: The GIANT Company

This includes its Beer Garden, which features a self-serve tap wall with more than 40 craft beers, wines, hard seltzer, cider and kombucha on tap.

Source: The GIANT Company

Our view

The GIANT Company is one of the most innovative divisions of Ahold Delhaize USA. Many of the elements of this new store draw on the ideas that were generated to develop Heirloom Market and later started to be integrated within the wider network, as we saw with the Camp Hill opening last year. The retailer has also put its ecommerce operation, GIANT Direct, front and centre, positioning the store to capitalise on the continued strong demand the channel is experiencing.

This is also an eye-catching store, beautifully presented and developed specifically for the local community in Philadelphia. The food hall format, blending third-party and its own concepts, is one we expect to see with growing frequency, particularly as retailers will be focused on driving traffic back into their physical formats, to support overall profitability, as the pandemic eases.

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