A West Coast grocery chain plans to open its first Maryland store in Elkton, MD.
Grocery Outlet will open the store at the Village of Elkton Shopping Center on Nov. 17.
The company, based in the San Francisco Bay area city of Emoryville, uses an different business model in the supermarket industry with store locations are owned by individual operators.
The company also took an unusual approach to expansion in recent years by leapfrogging from the West Coast to the Delaware Valley with stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It now has about 400 stores, mainly on the West Coast.
It is the first time in decades that a grocery store will operate at the Village of Elkton. Santoni’s, a Baltimore-based grocery, at one time operated a store at the shopping center.
Grocery Outlet operates smaller stores and focuses on closeouts and other buying opportunities in its approach in areas with numerous competitors.
In Elkton alone, Grocery Oulet will face competition from Aldi, Acme, Food Lion and Redner’s as well as stores in nieghboring Bear-Glasgow Delaware.
Retailing in Elkton has traditionally struggled with its proximity to sales tax-free Delaware.
More recently retail space has been leased by national chains in the county seat for Cecil County, MD.
The county, which once had one of the state’s highest jobless rates, has seen a boom in distribution center employment, with tourism expected to become a bigger factor with the opening of the Great Wolf Lodge next year.