Fast-growing Sprouts Farmers Market is planning to open its first Delaware store near Concord Mall off Route 202 in north Wimington.
The Concord Pike Facebook page reported the company will build the store in the former Barnes and Noble location next to Concord Mall. The bookseller recently moved to a new site south of the mall with a new store design that reflects the era of Kindle and other E-books.
The page cited a building permit issued for the purpose of remodeling the space
Sprouts officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
The fast-growing Phoenix-based grocery chain has been working to build a nationwide footprint. By the end of the year, Sprouts will operate 340 stores in 22 states. The company has opened stores in Philadelphia, Marlton NJ. and Bel Air, MD.
The grocery business in northern Delaware is poised for a shakeout that will put pressure on longtime Delaware Valley market leader Acme.
Shoprite, which has a thriving store on Concord Pike, has taken over the top spot in the northern Delaware market, with Wegmans planning to open a large-format store near Wilmington in the next couple of years.
Safeway, which is owned by the parent company of Acme, closed its north Wilmington store, leading to speculation that discount grocer Aldi might take part of the space.
Sprouts is a rival to Whole Foods, which is now owned by online giant Amazon and operates with Whole Foods’ smaller store format.
Sprouts ranks in the top 25 among grocery store chains, according to reader quality ratngs from Consumer Reports (subscription). It ranks in the top 10 in the western U.S., ahead of Whole Foods.
Spouts like Whole Foods, emphasizes wellness and organic foods, but does not have the high-price “whole paycheck” image that has followed Whole Foods during its expansion. Whole Foods has a location north of the Delaware line in Concordville, PA.