The Washington Post

Harris Teeter marching on Washington

North Carolina upstart Harris Teeter continues to build on its foothold in the Washington area with a slew of supermarkets in the works.

Just last week, developer Forest City Washington named the grocer as one of seven new retailers signed on at its sprawling mixed-use project on the District’s Southeast waterfront, the Yards. Once the grocery store is completed in 2013, customers can cruise the aisles and head to the sushi bar, gourmet deli or wine section.

Within days of Forest City’s news, Buchanan Partners announced that the Alexandria City Council had approved plans for a 174-unit apartment complex anchored by a 52,000-square-foot-Harris Teeter. Located in the city’s Old Town North section, the development is slated to break ground in the first quarter of 2012.

Before the close of this year, Ashburn and Purcellville plan to welcome new Harris Teeters, as Olney did back in April.

All told, Harris Teeter has 27 existing supermarkets in greater Washington, placing it ahead of Whole Foods with 15 stores, Trader Joe’s with 12 locations and Wegmans with seven supermarkets, according to Food World, an industry trade publication based in Columbia.

While Harris Teeter has just a 5.9 percent market share, compared to Giant’s 35.8 percent and Safeway’s 22 percent, the southern grocer is gaining ground. On average, it has opened two stores a year since entering the market in 1999 with a store at Hyde Park Plaza in Arlington.

Harris Teeter was drawn to the region because of “the demographics and growth the area was experiencing,” explained company spokeswoman Catherine M. Reuhl. “Harris Teeter actively seeks new real estate opportunities to conveniently serve its expanding customer base.”

Food World pegged local sales at $650.5 million in the first three months of this year, compared to $571 million for the same period a year earlier.

Across Harris Teeter’s entire 202-store portfolio along the southeast corridor, sales rose 4.9 percent to $1.05 billion in the first quarter, according to a public filing from Ruddick Corp., the Charlotte, N.C., outfit that owns the company.



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