CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Harris Teeter here is slated to expand into Nashville, Tenn., and reportedly is eyeing the Jacksonville, Fla., market.
The upscale supermarket chain is close to signing a lease for a store in Nashville, said Ruth Kinzey, spokeswoman. She declined to disclose the site until the deal is closed. However, an area observer told SN that one location being considered is a space in a strip shopping center in Nashville's affluent Brentwood area.
Extensive market research would precede any plans for additional stores in Nashville, Kinzey noted. "When we went into Atlanta, we opened one store and then we came in two years later and opened another store. And then we're slated to open one this year, our third store," she said. "After we go in with a store, then we will do a fair amount of research before the next one is opened."
Harris Teeter's only Tennessee store is in Mountain City, near the North Carolina border. Its southernmost store is located in St. Simon's Island, Ga., Kinzey said.
In Jacksonville, the chain is scouring the area for store sites, local observers and industry analysts told SN. Ken Gassman, a retail analyst with Davenport & Co., Richmond, Va., reported that executives from Harris Teeter and Ruddick Corp., which owns the chain, indicated they are interested in the market.
Kinzey said Harris Teeter has no definite plans to open stores in the Jacksonville area in the near future. Ruddick Corp. declined to comment on whether the chain planned to enter Jacksonville. This year, Harris Teeter plans to open units in Atlanta; Greensboro, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Blacksburg, Va., and the Hampton Roads area of Virginia Beach, Va. The stores will range from 45,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet, Kinzey said.