Could we see Whole Foods in Delaware?


Good afternoon,

Could Whole Foods finally come to Delaware?

The Wall Street Journal(subscription) reports that the upscale grocery chain may be back on a growth track after years of cutbacks.

Parent company Amazon has reportedly been scouting sites in western states whereWhole Foods does not havea presence.

A year ago, Amazon snapped up the national chain, which struggled with various issues that included a largely justified reputation as an expensive place to shop. Along the way, the grocergained the unflatteringslogan of “Whole Paycheck.”

Amazon wants to expand its Prime grocery delivery service through Whole Foods and is looking for more distribution points.

Several years ago, Whole Foods reportedly scouted the Brandywine Hundred area of northern Delaware but encountered not in my backyard sentiments and the complexities of the county’s Unified Development Code.

Later on. chances of locating in a town center at the DuPont Barley Mill site were doomed by opposition to any retail component in that area. A soft economy and less than helpful actions by the developer at that time were also factors.

The code has since undergone some revisions, but development remains a hot issue as residents tangle with the Capano interests over plans for apartments and homes at the former Brandywine Country Club. There was also a minor uproar over Wilmington University’s new building near Concord Mall ginned up the fringe of the open space movement.

Instead, Whole. Foodsopened at a former Genuardi’s location north of the Delaware line on Route 202 in 2012. It recently opened another Pennsylvania store in Newtown Square.

Route 202 has since seen the opening of a location for Wegmans. The highly regarded family-owned grocer operates much larger supermarkets than Whole Foods and offers more specials.

Wegmans previously disclosed that it has no plans for a store opening in Delaware.

The northern Delaware grocery market now features a battle for market share between locally owned Shoprite and Acme-Safeway.

Acme-Safeway has seen a long-running decline in its market share, with the Albertsons-owned company recently closing a Safeway in north Wilmington. Acme was able to boost its presence by acquiring a couple of former Pathmark stores after parent company A&P went under.

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