A supermarket mecca

— The Capital District’s supermarket scene is heating up.

With two (perhaps three) new ShopRites planned and another already open, a Trader Joe’s coming to Colonie and major renovations to local Hannaford and Price Chopper stores, competition is bound to be fierce.

But each grocery store chain is confident it will fare just fine.

“I think ShopRite has a strong focus on service, a strong focus on being the type of store consumers want with all the services they’re looking for under one roof,” said Tom Urtz of ShopRite.

Construction is well underway at a new ShopRite location on Central Avenue in Albany near the OTB teletheater. A ShopRite will be rooted at the Vista Tech Park (across the street from the Slingerlands Price Chopper) and a proposal is currently before the Planning Board in Colonie to erect a shop on Central Avenue at the old Otto Cadillac dealership.

It might seem like ShopRites are popping up all over the Capital District, said Urtz, but expanding the brand to this area was a natural progression.

“Based on where we currently were before we launched into the Capital District market, the area seemed like the next logical place geographically for us to expand into,” said Urtz. “Given the growth of the region in general, the demographics of the area seemed an attractive place that matched up well with … what we offer.”

Similarly, the decision to make Colonie Trader Joe’s first upstate New York home wasn’t an accident.

“There (are) a lot of foodies. It’s a wonderful community and we consider ourselves a neighborhood store, so we feel it’s a great fit for us,” said Alison Mochizuki, spokesperson for Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s representatives have been notoriously tightlipped about how long the grocery chain has eyed the 79 Wolf Road location but now that’s it’s official, the store is slated to open for business by mid-2012.

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