New Exeter Hannaford opening soonBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
February 27. 2014 8:09PM
EXETER — The first 300 customers through the door will have a chance to snatch up a gift card valued at $5 to $250 when the new Hannaford supermarket holds its grand opening on March 8.
The gift card giveaway, door prizes, food samples and tours are among the offerings designed to lure shoppers back to the grocery store that was home to Shop & Shop before it closed last September.
Hannaford took over the store at 141 Portsmouth Ave. and has spent the last several months remodeling the building in anticipation of opening its own 65,000-square-foot supermarket and full-service pharmacy.
In addition to its pharmacy, the store will offer a full-service butcher shop and seafood counter, and bakery, deli, fresh produce and grocery departments.
The Exeter location will be Hannaford’s 34th store in New Hampshire.
“I am excited to be part of bringing Hannaford to Exeter. As a team, we are committed to not only meet but to exceed our customers’ expectations. Our associates, on-site registered dietician, full-service pharmacy and product offerings will provide a great shopping experience,” store manager Bill McGlincey said in a news release Thursday announcing the store’s opening.
The Exeter store will employ about 150 full- and part-time associates.
The grand opening celebration begins at 7 a.m. Hannaford will offer “healthy shopping tours” at 10 a.m. and noon.
Customers will have an opportunity to meet the store’s pharmacists and talk with its registered dietician, Heidi Kerman, who will provide free nutrition advice, store tours and classes to the Exeter community.
Michael Schidlovsky, president of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce, said he met with the Exeter store’s manager a couple of weeks ago and is “convinced that they will rapidly become a welcome addition to Exeter and the surrounding communities.”
“They haven’t even opened their doors yet but are already asking the chamber, ’Who and how can Hannaford help in the community?’” he said.
As part of its grand opening, Hannaford is donating $2,500 to the St. Vincent de Paul Community Assistance Center and another $2,500 to the Chamber Children’s Fund, a charity that provides warm clothing for local children in need.
Hannaford’s Exeter supermarket will compete with Shaw’s and Market Basket stores in nearby Stratham.
Local shopper Michelle Cotton-Miller of East Kingston said she’s glad to see Hannaford opening a store in Exeter because it will bring more shopping options and employment opportunities.
“Students and seniors have to go farther away for these types of jobs. Losing the other store caused people to either lose their job or relocate,” she said.
Other shoppers are wondering if Hannaford will be able to compete with Market Basket, which is known for its low prices and this year is offering a 4 percent discount on purchases.
Jeff Liporto lives in Brentwood and does most of his shopping at Market Basket in Epping.
“I will be interested to see how the prices at Hannaford compare to Market Basket,” he said.