WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- Having just opened the first of its New Jersey in-store banks, Pathmark Stores here is now eyeing prospects for full-service branches for stores in New York state.
The retailer recently contracted with Summit Bancorp, Chatham, N.J., to open 70 bank branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by the end of 1998. The first two New Jersey stores opened last month in North Bergen and Edgewater, said Ron Marshall, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pathmark.
"We're negotiating with several other banks right now to enter a similar arrangement in New York state," he told SN. "Certainly we hope to have signed a deal and open branches this year" in New York, where Pathmark operates about 45 stores.
Marshall said Pathmark intends to include in-store bank branches in all future stores opened. The 70-store arrangement with Summit Bancorp includes new construction.
Pathmark entered the in-store banking arena primarily to enhance customer service, Marshall said, but also because financial institutions overall are demonstrating a greater willingness to understand the supermarket business and be flexible in meeting retailer needs.
"The associates that Summit is recruiting for bank branches come from traditional retail backgrounds, rather than from banking backgrounds," he said.
Pathmark's bank branches, which will occupy 400 square feet on average, will operate days, evenings and weekends and offer full services including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, loans and safety deposit boxes.