CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Giant Food of Carlisle, Pa., is planning to debut a new prototype store here on Oct. 12 that it is calling a "test lab" featuring a host of new amenities that could eventually be incorporated into additional locations.
"These are all the things we've been talking about that we've wanted to try for the last five years, and this is the store that we basically want to try everything in," said Denny Hopkins, a spokesman for the chain, which is a division of Ahold USA, Quincy, Mass.
Many of the new features being incorporated into the store, which measures just over 91,000 square feet, revolve around the fresh departments, prepared foods, and health and wellness.
One of the featured sections of the store is the deli area, which has been expanded and will be called The Marketplace. It will offer "ready-to-eat, restaurant-quality food at supermarket prices," Hopkins said.
Other features of the prepared-foods area include the Italian Table, which will specialize in freshly prepared pastas; the Marketplace Bistro, with made-to-order submarines and panini sandwiches; and Giant's first Panda Express Chinese quick-service food outlet, along with a Panda Express sushi department.
The prepared-foods aisle will end with a gourmet, European-style cheese section.
Among the other new features:
- A cooking school operated by The Kitchen Shoppe, a Carlisle, Pa.-based retailer of culinary supplies and a provider of culinary classes.
- A mezzanine level with three meeting rooms for local civic, nonprofit and business groups.
- In-store health clinics. The store also has a partnership with Weight Watchers for diet programs.
- A partnership with Motion Motivation, which will offer in-store exercise programs for children. In addition, the store will feature The Tree House, a childcare center that exists in a few locations of Tops, Giant's sister chain.
- Nature's Promise Natural and Organic Marketplace, a store-within-a-store named after Ahold's private label. The line is being expanded significantly, Hopkins said. The store will be staffed by two nutritionists.
- A wireless Internet cafe called the Marketplace Cafe, which will include a fireplace and furniture, with an outlet of Bucks County Coffee.
- EZ Shop, a personal scanner similar to Stop & Shop's Shopping Buddy that allows customers to scan their groceries as they shop.
- 11 kiosks throughout the store that allow customers to place orders for party trays, look up recipes and order prescriptions.