As part of a $22 million investment in Lancaster County, Giant Food Stores Monday said it is building a new e-commerce hub at its former North Reservoir Street location in Lancaster and a new fuel station in Lititz.
“We look at this e-commerce hub as an investment not just in property, but in the people of Lancaster who have waited too long to hear news from us about our future plans,” Nicholas Bertram, Giant‘s president, said in a statement.
The store at 235 N. Reservior St. was one of two stores that Giant closed in May 2017. The other was at 2074 Fruitville Pike in Manheim Township. The stores were older models and couldn’t be expanded with new amenities for customers, the company said.
Collectively, the two stores employed 170 people, according to Business Journal records.
The new 38,000 square foot e-commerce hub will bring approximately 150 new jobs to the community, a press release said.
It will serve as a grocery delivery center for Peapod, which is an online grocery service. The hub will offer curbside pickup for customers who order online and then drive in to pick up their groceries. A walk-up pickup point will also be available for customers making online orders.
With online grocery sales projected by some industry studies to grab as much as 20 percent of the market by 2025, retailers are doubling down to make grocery shopping more convenient. The hub will be the fifth such facility Giant has opened in Pennsylvania for Peapod. Headquartered in Chicago, Peapod is a sister company of Giant and a subsidiary of global grocery giant Ahold Delhaize.
Giant also said it has broken ground on a new off-site fuel facility close to the Giant at 1008 Lititz Pike in Warwick Township. The facility is slated to open in August.
With a growing list of competitors like Whole Foods and Wegmans, entering the Lancaster County grocery market, Giant is upping its game. The grocery chain has already completed several changes as part of its Lancaster County investment, including the addition of new display cases, expanded deli departments and other changes at its stores.
In addition to its new location in Lancaster County, Giant plans to open new stores for the first time in the East Stroudsburg and Walnutport communities in Monroe and Northampton counties. Those two stores are slated to open in 2019 with new fueling stations.
Headquartered in Middlesex Township, the grocer operates eight stores in Lancaster County, employing approximately 1,300 people.
Giant, which is part of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, has 171 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The chain employs more than 30,000 people.