NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Harris Teeter's new unit here suits the upscale consumer, with a wide choice of natural, international and gourmet foods.
The store -- which has culinary chefs on staff and offers a number of peripheral services, including copy, fax and photo processing -- appeals to businesspeople and families alike, SN found during a visit.
This may be partly because the two-month-old unit, located in the middle-class Brentwood suburb, offers an eclectic array of Center Store items.
The shopping pattern for Center Store begins with natural, ethnic and specialty items. Grouping these items is logical, since shoppers looking for natural and vegetarian foods also buy Mexican, Italian and Chinese foods. These cuisines offer more meatless products.
This first aisle, which starts after produce, is labeled as international, kosher, Mexican, spaghetti sauce, natural food and pasta.
Identified by large square letters suspended from the ceiling that spell "NATURAL," the natural-food section contains cup-a-meals, soups, rices, juices, soy products, medicinal teas and cereals, among other items.
Sixteen feet are devoted to bulk items like nuts, grains, pulses, dried fruits, granola, trail mix and candy. An additional 8 feet are given to natural refrigerated items, including Stonyfield yogurt; organic milk, eggs and cheese; tofu cheeses and other tofu products; and meat substitutes.
Next to this section is a wide selection of packaged pastas and refrigerated pastas.
Upscale bean dips, chips, salsas and chilies are part of the Mexican selection, along with 4 feet of refrigerated Mexican products. Taco Bell-brand items fill about 12 linear feet and include beans, sauces, cheeses and dry tacos. Another 12 linear feet are devoted to Goya beans, rices, nectars, condiments, peppers and prepared dinner kits.
Eight feet of kosher products and 8 feet of Indian and Mediterranean products boast such items as grape leaves, olives, spicy pastes and curries. Another 4 feet of mixed gourmet selections include muesli, marmalade, mushrooms, condiments, soups, pickles and dessert mixes.
Chinese sauces, vegetables, noodles, chow mein, seasoning mixes and teas fill out about 8 linear feet with both lesser known, exotic brands and the more standard Chung King items. Another 4 feet hold additional Oriental items.
A solution shopping center for parties and picnics is set up in Aisle 10, which stocks soft drinks, seltzer, water, drink mixers, charcoal, paper cups and plates and food wrap.
Ruth Kinzey, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte, N.C.-based Harris Teeter chain, said that the Brentwood store is similar to those in many other locations. "Variety is our hallmark," Kinzey said.
Still, Kinzey confirmed that each store is individually designed and may vary in the number of natural-food or specialty items and kosher items.
The Brentwood store is not far from a large Kroger unit that does not have as wide a selection of natural or specialty foods, SN found.