In 1980, Safer Way Natural Foods and Clarksville Natural Grocery join to open Whole Foods Market on September 20, with a staff of only 19 persons in Austin, Texas. It took twenty one years for the Whole Foods to open its first New York City store in Chelsea at 275 Seventh Avenue.
While Pathmark, A & P, Food Emporium and a number of local chains are in various stages of closing, Whole Foods Market continues to increase its presence in the New York City marketplace.
October 16th, Christina Minardi, Regional President, Whole Foods Market Northeast region reported "We are proud to announce its two newest New York City locations: Harlem and the Upper Eastside. As part of a new construction project our future Harlem store located at 125th Streeet and Lenox Avenue is being planned for opening during the summer of 2012 and will be approximately a 39,000 square foot location."
"The future Upper East Side store, located at 87th Street and 3rd Avenue, is being planned in an existing space of approximately 38,000 square feet and is slated to open in early 2014".
This summer, the chain opened its seventh location on East 57th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
After a number of false starts including a ground breaking which was held in 2006,
In February the city's Board of Standards and Appeals gave the green light for Whole Foods to proceed with plans to build at 52,000 square foot store in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. The company acquired the site in 2004 and expects to open its first store in the Borough in 2013.
Everyone seems to want to visit or reside in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
It has been confirmed that a 30,000 square foot, Whole Foods Market will open in 2014 at 242 Bedford Avenue on North Fourth Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street, a store in the chic Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
Whole Foods is not alone in their quest for market share in New York City and the region.
Pathmark, a division of A & P, once had a location at 3785 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue Y and Avenue Z in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn which closed in April 2011. In October, the LeFrak Organization, which owns the former Pathmark site, announced that Aldi would occupy 18,500 square feet of the building. The discount grocery store signed a ten year lease with extension options.
Batavia, Illinois based Aldi has a total of 1,215 stores in the United States. On October 1st, the company opened its first Manhattan location a 17,000 square foot store at 517 East 117th Street in the East River Plaza.
Aldi opened 75 stores in the United States in 2011 and plans to open more than 80 stores in 2012. The company entered New York City in February, 2011 with a store in the Rego Center shopping mall located at Junction Boulevard and 62nd Drive, nest to the Long Island Expressway in the Rego Park section of Queens. The chains first outpost in the Bronx, an 18,000 square foot market at 1750 East Gun Hill Road opened a few months later on December 1st.
In August, Fairway Market opened a 68,000 square foot store in Roosevelt Raceway Center, 1258 Corporate Drive, off the Meadowbrook Parkway in Westbury Long Island. This was the market's 11th store in the tri-state area and the second on Long Island.
Residents of the Murray Hill section hope that before the end of the year, Fairway's fourth Manhattan Store will open in Kips Bay section of Manhattan. Construction is underway for a 42,000 square foot store in the AMC Loew's Shopping Center on Second Avenue. The market will open in the former Office Depot and Crunch gym located at the corner of East 30th Street.
Trader Joe's a distinct relative of Aldi's opened at 13,000 square foot market this summer at 900 Old Country Road in the new Gallery at Westbury Plaza.
Forbes reported that Aldi was founded by Kart and Theo Albrecht who split the company to from Aldi Nord (North) and Aldi Sud (South) in 1960. Today there are about 4981 stores that belong to Aldi North and 4504 stores that belong to Aldo South. In addition there are about 367 Trader Joe's that belong to Aldi North.
Aldi North acquired Trader Joe's in 1979 and continued to let it operate independently.