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Hannaford to open concept store in Bedford

June 13. 2016 7:42PM
The store Hannaford Supermarkets plans to open in Bedford on Saturday will include new design concepts. (COURTESY)

BEDFORD — Hannaford Supermarkets will open its biggest store in New Hampshire on Saturday, promising more amenities at its “new design concept” store.

Customers can buy made-to-order food to eat at the store or take out, do their food shopping online and pick up at the store as well as get customized cutting of fruits and vegetables at the former Stop & Shop location on Kilton Road, near South River Road.

“This is going to be a learning laboratory to figure out just how effective certain services are when put together and offered in a large store,” Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom said. “This will really inform the design and remodels of large Hannaford stores in the future.”

Blom said some concepts such as Hannaford to Go online ordering are being used elsewhere in the chain, but this new store will bring different services together under one roof.

At 68,000 square feet, the store will be slightly larger than the Hannaford location on John E. Devine Drive in Manchester. The company’s largest store, 71,000 square feet, is in Portland, Maine.

The new store will open the morning after Hannaford’s existing supermarket on Colby Court in Bedford is shuttered. The new store will employ 175 workers, 40 more than at Colby Court.

Hannaford is one of the state’s biggest employers, with about 5,500 full- and part-time associates.

The new Hannaford store is about a one-third mile from Whole Foods, which opened a 43,000-square-foot store on South River Road in April. The two stores can be seen from parts of each other’s parking lots.

Whole Foods spokesman Jaimee Rondeau said competition “makes everyone bring their best game.”

A Walmart Supercenter with a large grocery section opened in Manchester in April, while an Aldi grocery store will open on South Willow Street in Manchester on June 23.

Bruce Persohn, an Aldi regional vice president, said the 18,000-square-foot Manchester store will mark the sixth Granite State location.

“Rather than focus on our competitors, we focus on giving our customers what they need,” Persohn said in an email. “These days, most people shop at more than one store. And more shoppers are discovering that they can find the majority of their grocery list at Aldi while saving time and money without making any sacrifices on quality.”

Blom said Hannaford is “very committed to New Hampshire and in particular the Manchester area is a very dynamic area both for us as a company and within the state.”

The new store will offer a brew room with more than 230 kinds of craft beer as well as an extensive wine selection.

Suzanne Riel, who will manage the new store, said the store will feature a section of popular items in a grab-and-go area.

“Typical stuff people need on a quick turn in and out of the store,” Riel said.

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