EASTLAKE, Ohio — A dark former Tops supermarket here reopened last week under a new limited-assortment banner, Valu King Food Market.
The store is owned by Giant Eagle, but is run independently of the Pittsburgh-based retailer, a spokesman told SN. Giant Eagle's conventional stores have leading market share in the Cleveland area, and operate in several sites formerly belonging to Tops.
“Valu King is a completely separate entity, operated with total autonomy,” the spokesman, Erik Yorke, said. “Giant Eagle's relationship to the store is more akin to an investor.”
The store, approximately 28,000 square feet, offers between 6,000 and 8,000 SKUs, with an emphasis on meal staples and health and beauty items. The store also carries about 1,200 general merchandise items priced at $1 each.
The store features fresh meat and produce departments, packaged deli items, thaw-and-sell bakery items, and sections for dairy and frozen goods. The majority of products are Topco brands under the Valu Time, Food Club, Full Circle, Top Care and World Classic labels. Selected national brands are featured in advertised “special buys.”
Valu King said it provides shoppers with bags and carts and allows credit-card payments. Those distinctions set it apart from discounters like Aldi, which has several area locations.
“We are very excited to be the first Valu King location,” Ted Andrzejewski, mayor of Eastlake, said in a statement. “Eastlake residents have waited very patiently for a new grocer in this area and will be thrilled to have a store where they can shop for a wide array of grocery needs without breaking their budgets.”
Yorke told SN that Value King has “no immediate plans” for additional stores. “But of course the hope is [that] it is very successful and can be grown.”
The store is the second limited-assortment discounter to debut under a conventional operator in recent weeks. West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee last month unveiled a small format, Heartland Pantry, in Lincoln, Neb. That store features a selection of products similar to the Valu King offering.