Lancaster developer bullish on Amazon-Whole Foods merger
If Amazon gets a green light to buy the Whole Foods grocery chain, one of its newest stores will be in Lancaster County.
Whole Foods is among the companies coming to Shoppes at Belmont in Manheim Township, a shopping center expected to open in early 2018.
The center's developer, Lancaster-County Manbel Devco, is waiting to see how Amazon's planned $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods plays out.
Still, said Phil Frey, Manbel's principal owner, "We view it as a very positive outcome for Whole Foods. For their outstanding brand to be combined with Amazon's strength in the market should bode well for both companies and for Belmont. The fact that both of their stock valuations initially increased is a sign that a lot of people see it that way also."
The Amazon-Whole Foods deal comes as competition intensifies in the grocery industry.
Discount chain Aldi, which recently renovated its store in Springettsbury Township, York County, recently unveiled a $3.4 billion expansion plan. The plan aims to bring the chain to 2,500 U.S. stores by the end of 2022, up from more than 1,600 today.
Its rival, Lidl, also is ramping up growth in the U.S., including in Central Pennsylvania.
Sunbury-based Weis Markets also has been growing, having spent $65 million last year to buy stores from rival chains.
CPBJ staff writer Jason Scott contributed to this report.