Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food Stores banner is introducing a new store concept for urban neighborhoods to be known as Giant Heirloom Market.
Officials of the Carlisle, Pa.-based brand revealed details of the new store at a press event in Center City Philadelphia, where the first unit is under construction in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood at Second and Bainbridge streets and is expected to open before the end of the year. The location was previously speculated to have been a planned site for BFresh, a format introduced in Boston by Ahold’s since-dissolved Fresh Formats team in 2015 and now run by Giant’s sister banner Stop & Shop.
Although Giant has had a presence in Philadelphia since opening its Grant Avenue store in 2011, Heirloom Market will be its first downtown location. Officials said additional locations are also on the way.
“Our new Giant Heirloom Market is as unique and special as the neighborhood it serves, the direct result of our close collaboration with the local community it will soon be serving,” Nick Bertram, Giant’s president, said in a statement. “From featuring products made locally to being staffed by people who call the neighborhood home, Giant Heirloom Market is a true reflection of the surrounding community, and we can’t wait to see our shared vision come to life in just a few short months.”
Officials said Heirloom Market would reflect both neighborhood group listening sessions and inspiration from markets in Ahold Delhaize’s home market of Amsterdam.
Featuring a produce chef who will prepare veggies and fruit on demand, local artisanal breads and a vast array of plant-based foods, Giant said Heirloom Market would “foster exploration and encourage creativity in the kitchen” through sampling and demonstration.
The store will also employ technology enabling a more convenient and modern experience, including an “Endless Aisles” philosophy, whereby customers can order items for pickup and delivery on iPads in the store through Peapod.
“With Giant Heirloom Market, we feel privileged to provide ingredients for recipes handed down from generation to generation because we understand that the real specialness in a shared meal is the memories created around it,” said Bertram. “That’s why we’re honored that our Graduate Hospital neighbors helped us reimagine the look and design of the store.”
Giant officials were expected to announce the store at an event downtown that also recognized Giant’s 95th anniversary and included an associated $1 million donation to Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, on behalf of Giant’s associates, vendor partners and customers.
“More and more companies are looking to do business in Philadelphia due to our abundant resources, welcoming spirit and diverse neighborhoods,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. “The city of Philadelphia is honored to have been selected by Giant to debut its new store format, Giant Heirloom Market. We are thankful for Giant’s significant investment in our region as they contribute hundreds of jobs to our economy, and we look forward to giving them a true City of Brotherly Love welcome later this year.”
Philadelphia has seen an influx of food retailers, including new arrivals from Mom's Organic Market and Sprouts.
Giant most recently partnered with Philabundance to help the food bank’s KidsBites’ LunchBox program with a three-year Fighting Child Hunger grant. Philabundance used the grant to increase access to healthy food for children, providing 1,400 nutritious lunch boxes per week over 11 weeks during the summer at eight sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Through its “Bag Hunger” and “Meat the Needs” programs, Giant also partners with Philabundance to bring much-needed protein to families throughout the area.