Convenience, supermarket chains look to grow

Published on
January 3, 2010

As national convenience chains and regional supermarket chains plan expansions in 2010, seafood vendors are gaining new markets for their products.

7-Eleven, which licenses around 36,900 stores worldwide, is adding 20 new stores in Northern California in 2010 and around 30 additional stores in the area in 2011.

“We want to quickly identify new locations and take advantage of opportunities throughout the region,” said Dan Porter, 7-Eleven’s VP of real estate and new store development.

Throughout the United States, 7-Eleven is projecting adding 250 stores in its top growth markets in 2010 and more than 300 stores in 2011. 7-Eleven has added frozen seafood meals and single-serve items to its stores over the past two years.

Meanwhile, two regional supermarket chains said they will add new stores in 2010. Phoenix-based Sunflower Farmers Market will open a second store in Santa Fe, N.M., on 13 January. The chain, which has 27 stores throughout the Southwest, focuses on fresh foods, natural foods and vitamins.

Sunflower’s seafood departments feature a wide variety of seafood and price ranges for its customers. For example, its seafood specials in late December included fresh catfish fillets for USD 5.99 a pound, fresh steelhead fillets for USD 7.99 a pound, and a Stuffed Salmon Florentine Pinwheel for USD 4.99 per six-ounce portion.

Sunflower plans to open seven stores in 2010 and grow to more than 50 stores by 2013, with USD 35 million in financing it received last month.

Hispanic grocery store chains are also expanding in the United States. Sedano’s of Hilaleah, Fla., is taking over three former Albertson’s stores in Orlando, Fla., in January, that it will convert to Sedano’s locations. The chain already has around 30 stores in South Florida and is looking to add stores in Tampa and Naples, Fla.

Most of Sedano’s stores feature a seafood department that includes a selection of fresh fish fillets and some shellfish. Recently featured items included wild corvina fillets from Suriname for USD 3.99 a pound and farmed cooked shrimp from Indonesia for USD 6.99 a pound.

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