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Rumors Swirl About Potential Genuardi's Sale

Following recent Genuardi's closures, some people believe sales of remaining stores, including Wynnewood, are imminent.

No one at will confirm it, but rumors are floating that Genuardi's owner Safeway is looking to sell its Delaware Valley stores, including the one here in the Wynnewood Shopping Center.

Two local Genuardi's supermarkets have closed in the past month: the Eagleville location on Oct. 8, and the Kimberton store on Oct. 15. The two stores, located in Montgomery and Chester counties, respectively, are the only Genuardi's stores that have closed in 2011. Last year, seven Genuardi's stores were closed, including ones in Newtown Square, Chesterbrook, Lansdale and Glen Mills.

Currently, there are Genuardi's locations in Wynnewood, St. Davids, Springfield and 24 other locations.

Food Trade News reported this month that multiple sources have indicated Safeway is looking to sell its remaining Genuardi's stores and will come to sales agreements in the near future—likely before the end of 2011.

"I have no knowledge to suggest that this is anything other than a rumor."—Maryanne Crager, Genuardi's spokeswoman

Giant Food Stores is one retailer said to be in the mix. Food Trade News reported sources indicating Giant may want to acquire as many as 18 Genuardi's stores. Giant took over two Genuardi's stores in Warrington and Feasterville (Bucks County) last year, placing them under the Giant banner.

Genuardi's public affairs manager Maryanne Crager said rumors of stores being sold have been around since the Genuardi's family sold the company to Safeway in 2001.

"We really don't comment on rumors," Crager said. "There are always rumors out there, and I have no knowledge to suggest that this is anything other than a rumor."

A manager at the Wynnewood Genuardi's also indicated that he had no knowledge of a sale or potential bidding for the store.

Crager said those decisions are made at the upper echelons of the company.

"Whatever is happening—if anything is happening—is not something we're privy to at this level," she added.

The nearby stores closed this month were underperforming, according to Crager.

"Eagleville in particular was quite an old location—it had been open for over 20 some years, and it had a smaller footprint. It was not a big store, and was without the amenities that larger, newer stores have," Crager explained.

The Wynnewood location was opened in 2000, and occupies 98,000 square feet of space, according to the website of Federal Realty Trust (NYSE: FRT), owner of the the Wynnewood Shopping Center.

A Federal Realty representative said that the company does not comment on its clients' business matters.

Genuardi's has a large ready-made section ("The Kitchen"), and is regarded as one of the better chain stores with in the area. Some other large retailers, like Shop-Rite and Acme, offer substantial kosher selections, but Giant's kosher section at most of its stores is considerably smaller.

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Patch will update this story as more concrete information becomes available. If you have any information on the deal, contact the reporter, or the editor at tom.walsh@patch.com.

Sandy November 01, 2011 at 11:25 AM
WEGMAN'S!!!
kim November 01, 2011 at 12:09 PM
WEGMANS- what an upgrade that would be!!!
Carla Zambelli November 01, 2011 at 12:20 PM
As long as there is a grocery store to replace it, it's just the grocery store shuffle. As dirty as the Bryn Mawr ACME could be I am finding that the Wynnewood Genuardi's needs a good cleaning and the Wynnewood Superfresh is also a dirty hole. A Wegman's on this end of the Main Line would be terrific, actually. As for Federal Realty, for ALL the money they suck out of that shopping center Genuardi's is in one would think they could keep it cleaner overall and the parking lot in better shape - take a good look at the surface alone of the parking lot in front of Genuardi's. It looks run down.
Thomas J. Walsh November 01, 2011 at 03:22 PM
It's important to add that Genuardi's may well stay put, depending on Safeway's strategy. Just today, my friend Joseph DiStefano wrote in the Inquirer that Supervalu, owner of the Acme chain, is cutting back on overall expansion, and plans to "freshen" many existing Acmes (http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/132916463.html), and to "invest in energy management projects" (read: money-saving measures). Joe also mentioned the growing online grocery business, notably Giant's "Peapod" service in this area, and Soap.com, the new Amazon.com food delivery business. All that said, Wegman's sounds like a terrific idea (to me), but I don't think the current Genuardi's space in Wynnewood is near big enough to accommodate one.
Mumfer November 01, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Shop Rite would be a welcome replacement for Genuardis. Shop Rite has a very large Kosher section, a wide selection of brand name grocery items, wonderful produce and very competitive prices.
x November 02, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Oh yes!!!!!!
Hava Nigela November 03, 2011 at 02:22 PM
There will be a Giant in Havertown and already one in Marple and it's true their kosher section is nowhere near the size of Genuardi's. Shoprite in general has the best prices, so if all other things are equal, they would be a good choice. Do we need a Wegmans there already having Food Source, Whole Foods and Trader Joes nearby?
x November 03, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Does anyone have anything definitive on this?
Thomas J. Walsh November 04, 2011 at 03:20 AM
To be honest, no. We keep asking, and they keep saying, "No comment." Which is unfortunate, because so many of the people who work there actually do comment, but they can't do so on-the-record for fear of their jobs. So we ask and the owners say, "No comment." Meanwhile, every single day, people who work at Genuardi's don't know if they'll have a job the following day. Sounds black-and-white, but there you are.

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