Big Y Foods plans to build a new “downtown format” store in Springfield, Mass., that’s expected to open next year.
Called Big Y Express Fresh Market, the 10,000-square-foot store will occupy a vacant space on the ground floor of the 28-story Tower Square building at 1500 Main St. in downtown Springfield, Big Y said Monday. The tower anchors a mixed-use complex including office, hotel, retail, dining, service, education and community space.
Big Y Express Fresh Market will carry a “full assortment” of items from each grocery department, though the new store concept is “not a complete supermarket due to its size,” according to Springfield-based Big Y. Offerings will include high-quality prepared meals and sandwiches plus natural and organic products and everyday staples. A sushi chef also will be on-site preparing fresh sushi daily.
“We are excited to bring an entirely new concept to downtown Springfield,” Colin D’Amour, senior director of Big Y Express, Big Y Food’s convenience store banner, said in a statement. “We know that there has been an appetite for Big Y’s fresh and local foods for many years now. We are confident that customers will enjoy our many offerings. We are working diligently with our contractors to establish a timeline for opening and are excited to be a part of the downtown community.”
Big Y Foods also operates 13 smaller convenience/fuel stores under the Big Y Express banner.
Big Y Express Fresh Market will be approximately one-fifth the size of typical Big Y World Class Market supermarket, which runs about 55,000 square feet. Some of the retailer’s larger Big Y Express convenience stores are about 2,000 square feet, with several legacy stores a bit smaller.
“We do not have a specific SKU count that we are aiming for,” D’Amour said of Express Fresh Market in an email. “We are working diligently to identify those key offerings within each department which we believe will serve a wide range of customers’ at-home food needs.”
Big Y noted that the immediate area includes downtown residents, office workers, UMass classrooms and YMCA daycare, among others, who are seeking more convenient food retail options.
“We have been very interested in serving the residents and working professionals in downtown Springfield for quite some time now and are excited with this unique opportunity,” D’Amour said. “We are focused right now on putting together the best market we can for Springfield and do not have any active plans for additional locations.”
Overall, Big Y Foods operates 85 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 Big Y World Class Market supermarkets, one Table & Vine Fine Wines & Liquors store and 13 Big Y Express convenience/fuel stores. Big Y Express Fresh Market will be the company’s fourth retail banner.
“We have a signed lease in place, so we are committed to getting this location open as quickly as we can,” said D’Amour. “Current supply lead times for a lot of the equipment mean that we will likely be looking at something in early 2023. We are working closely with our partners to try to expedite this timeline as much as possible.”