Shoppers line up for new Giant store

Location of old Genuardi’s on U.S. 1 in Longwood, opens to lines and giveaways

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

Shoppers lineup for the grand opening of the new Giant supermarket in Longwood, Sunday.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — You’d think it would take a lot to get people up and out on sultry, Sunday morning in July, but based on the line that queued up in front of the new Giant supermarket before 8 a.m., a new shopping option and a few giveaways were enough.

The new Giant on U.S. 1 in Longwood opened Sunday morning, replacing the Genuardis, after a frantic week of renovating the store. The new interior is brighter than previously, with work done on the various speciality departments in the store.

A little before 8 a.m., would-be shoppers were lined up — enticed by a number giveaways the store offered to its first shoppers.

Typical of those in line were Teresa and Carl McCauley of Kennett Square.

When asked why they got up early on a Sunday morning, Teresa was pretty emphatic:

“He mad me!” she said.

A little sheepishly, he admitted that he was pretty excited about having a new shopping option.

“I like supermarkets,” he said. “I like to cook, I like to wander around and get ideas.”

Carl McCauley said he was glad the Giant replaced the Genuardis — which he said he felt suffered under the management of national chain Safeway, which bought out what had been a locally-owned, Delaware Valley supermarket chain with a loyal following.

“Unfortunately, Genuardis really went downhill after Safeway bought it,” McCauley said. “I think it’s a good thing that this will be a Giant, now.”

Carlise-based Giant purchased five of the old Pennsylvania Genuardi’s locations and all reopened on Sunday as Giant stores.

“It is an exciting time for all of our store teams, as we look forward to opening the doors and introducing the Giant shopping experience to each community,” said Rick Herring, Giant’s president. “There are plenty of unique new features in each store, providing a greater assortment of products, (and) freshly prepared foods.”

The first 200 shoppers were given a six-pack of English muffins and a reusable shopping bag, while the first 500 shoppers to check out were given loaves of bread as a grand opening bonus.

10 other stores will undergo the conversion from Genuardis to Giant later this month.

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