WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores here will expand in-store banking to new markets this month when it opens the first of 44 New York branches.
The retailer has contracted with Haven Bancorp, Woodhaven, N.Y., to open full-service Columbia Federal Savings Bank branches in Pathmark supermarkets throughout New York state. The rollout will be completed in early 1998.
The contract follows a similar agreement signed this summer with Summit Bancorp, Chatham, N.J., to open 70 in-store banks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
"Our projected goal is to roll out all 114 in-store branches throughout all three states by 1998," Frank Vitrano, Pathmark treasurer, told SN.
Vitrano added, "By offering our consumers convenience, in turn we can enhance customer service."
A new Pathmark store to open in Brooklyn in mid-November will be the first New York store to offer banking; in December, three Long Island stores to open in Brentwood, North Babylon and New Hyde Park will have banks.
The branches will occupy approximately 400 square feet and will be located in the front of the stores, adjacent to the checkout registers. Vitrano said branches will be open up to seven days a week, 60 hours per week, including evenings and weekends.
"Gone are the hours of 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays" for in-store banking, he commented.
Automated teller machines will also be available, along with interactive video kiosks, at some locations.
Pathmark and Columbia Savings are discussing joint marketing promotions that could include a continuous Pathmark coupon promotion, according to Cathy Califano, chief financial officer for Columbia Federal Savings Bank. She also said the bank logo will be printed on Pathmark bags to advertise its services.
Financial services offered include checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mortgages, loans, life insurance, health insurance, annuities and safe deposit boxes.
In New Jersey, Summit bank branches have been installed in five stores so far, and a Pennsylvania store will offer banking next month.
Vitrano said consumers and marketing research studies indicate a strong need for bank services in supermarkets.
"Our branches are doing well and running smoothly," Vitrano said. "We hope to benefit financially by drawing in additional customers."