CT Insider has a story about how, "as Connecticut emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic — its economy bolstered by a white-hot housing market — it only seems logical that a retailer known for targeting high-end consumers would want to expand in portions of the state where there are pockets of well-heeled shoppers.
"But along a vast stretch of Connecticut’s Shoreline, from West Haven to the Rhode Island border, one of the preeminent names among upscale supermarkets — Whole Foods Markets — doesn’t have a presence."
The story notes that "Whole Foods plans to expand across the country with 43 stores across 19 states, including the two Connecticut locations … There are 503 Whole Foods stores in the United States, including eight currently in Connecticut."
The CT Insider story continues: "'Connecticut is one of the most under-stored states in the country,' said Burt Flickinger, managing director of New York City-based Strategic Resource Group. That leave Whole Foods with a lot of potential expansion options in the state, according to Flickinger."
- KC's View:
One of the things that may make this part of the country attractive to a retailer like Whole Foods could be that a reshaped economy could have more people working from home more of the time. Which means that the Connecticut Shoreline section of the state, which is really too far from New York, Boston or Providence to make it easily commutable on a daily basis, might seem more attractive - and affordable - for folks who need accessibility to these cities and their airports, but not all the time. Which it turn would make the area more attractive to a chain like Whole Foods.
But not just Whole Foods.
Seems to me that the area also could be ripe for some Amazon Fresh stores. Or maybe a Wegmans. Or a Stew Leonard's. Or maybe Roche Bros. Or Price Chopper/Market 32. (I'd love to see Hannaford think about it, but I'm guessing that its sister chain, Stop & Shop, would object.)
My only point here is that it is a mistake to limit the thinking to Whole Foods, and that there are other retailer who could take advantage of the opportunity. But those retailers will have to be aggressive, I think - the window won't be open forever.