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New Hampshire Enjoying New Grocery Stores

New Hampshire Grocery Profile
[gn_note color=”#b1cbde”]The 2012 New Hampshire Profile originally ran in the March 2012 edition of The Shelby Report of the Northeast. The profile will be published on theshelbyreport.com one month after it has run in print.[/gn_note]

From Market Basket to Aldi, several new stores have opened recently—or are set to open—in New Hampshire.

The Market Basket stores, in Londonderry, Hooksett, Manchester, are huge stores either 100,000 s.f. or larger in size. In contrast the Aldi set for a March opening in Salem is about 10,000 s.f.

Londonderry’s Market Basket closed its doors June 4, after more than 23 years in operation since opening on May 18, 1988.

Just 12 hours after closing, the new Market Basket, only a parking lot away, opened its doors. More than double the size of the old, the new store is a whopping 108,000 s.f., www.londonderrynewsnh.net reports.

Department expansions included a much larger health and beauty selection, a 16-foot fresh seafood area, and wine and beer aisles with more than 1,000 varieties. The store is home to Market’s Kitchen and Market’s Café.

The new store has 22 cash registers and shopping aisles are two to three feet wider than those at the old store. The new store is the second largest in the chain, after the Chelsea, Mass., store; it is the largest Market Basket in New Hampshire, however.

A store in Hooksett opened on Sept. 21. Construction of a 100,000-s.f. store in Manchester is nearly complete, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

But a legal challenge has limited its store project in Bedford to site work. Market Basket has done site work at the Donald Street site at state Route 114 in Bedford, but a challenge to its variance from the town is pending in the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

The Hannaford Bros. supermarket company has challenged Bedford over what it contends is an unfair allowance for Market Basket to build the store on Donald Street more than twice the size of what Hannaford was allowed to build in south Bedford. However, Bedford voters will consider a zoning amendment March 13 that could make the court case moot.

Proposed by the planning board, “Amendment No. 2” would allow buildings with footprints of more than 40,000 s.f. under a new “Commercial-2 zoning district” for the Donald Street extension property.

The Aldi store is scheduled for a grand opening on March 1, boston.com reports.

It will be the first Aldi store in New Hampshire and is located in Salem, at 541 South Broadway.

According to Aldi, the chain has roughly 1,200 stores in 32 states. Aldi stores generally have four to five “uncluttered” 8-foot-wide aisles vs. 30 or more at some other grocers, an Aldi spokeswoman said in the report.

These new grocery stores, and other established stores, across New Hampshire may have the chance soon to sell liquor in stores if House Bill 1251 is passed.

All three state liquor commissioners, and one former commissioner, showed up at a packed three-plus-hour House Commerce Committee hearing on Feb. 8 to oppose a bill that would allow some 1,400 grocery stores in New Hampshire to sell liquor, the New Hampshire Business Review reports.

Under House Bill 1251, grocery stores would be able to buy liquor through the State Liquor Commission.

The commissioners argued that it would result in problem drinking, a massive loss of revenue to the state and primarily profit large retail stores that are owned by out-of-state corporations.

Currently the state is in control of liquor sales with state-owned stores.

But John Dumais, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Grocers Association, said the commission has issued such warnings before, when groceries stores started selling wine, and then when they started selling dessert wines, and the state stores have thrived anyway.

The two could coexist, he said, indeed even complement each other, according to the report.

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