Tom Thumb Highland Park Village to Close, Dean&Deluca Coming In???

Tom Thumb HPVHighland Park Village Tom Thumb

It’s been rumored for weeks, but today it was made official: Tom Thumb will close its charming Highland Park Village grocery store at Preston and Mockingbird in the next 12 months.

The reason? The store is small and outmoded by today’s mega-supermarket standards, and there is plenty of room for expansion. Also, Safeway, parent company of Tom Thumb, is being courted by potential buyers.

“We have enjoyed being in Highland Park Village over the years, but the store is small and outmoded by today’s supermarket standards, with no opportunity for on-site expansion,” Tom Thumb president Paul McTavish said today in a news release.

Ironically, the Highland Park Village store first opened as a Safeway in 1935.

With Safeway trying to “house stage” for a suitor, the company may well have decided that the store, a mere 18,500 square feet, does not have the revenue potential of the average 46,000 square foot Tom Thumb. There are other, smaller Tom Thumbs around town, such as the Tom Thumb at Snider Plaza, and Preston Center next to Park Cities Baptist Church, but perhaps the rents are not as high. McTavish also says the company is seeking a location to build a full-sized Tom Thumb in the neighborhood.

There is also a Simon David at Inwood and University.

Personally, I like the smaller stores. The fifth and newest Central Market in the Dallas area is on the southeast corner of Royal Lane and Preston Road in the Preston Oaks shopping center.  The space is approximately 30,000 square feet. That’s smaller than the average 45,000 square foot super market, but in my humble opinion, much more efficient. The huge stores have way too many choices, way too many aisles to temp us into buying.

Which is why, perhaps, an 18,500 square foot store cannot be as profitable.

Dallas is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country. Apparently, it’s a real slug-fest in the grocery store biz. The nation’s supermarket competitors are duking it out harder than ever to:

“enhance their performance and accelerate market share. Gaining an edge over the many faces of competition in the present era, however, requires an ever more delicate balancing act between price, selection and service on one end and cost containment, capital investments in people, facilities and shopper engagement strategies on the other, to attract and retain a strong customer base.”

Rumor (RUMOR!) has it a Dean&Deluca New York-style deli will go into the Tom Thumb space, giving a place to buy a little milk, juice, fruit, black & white cookies and hopefully some great New York City bagels.

There’s nothing like a great New York deli bagel to help you feel better. Skillerns Corner

 

If I had a dollar for every time I have said, what Uptown needs is a decent grocery store, I’d be able to buy Tim Heddington’s condo over at the Ritz. Well now it’s happened: last night I got a press release from my darling friend Karen Lukin telling the world that the Austin-based grocer will  build a 38,000-square-foot store on McKinney Avenue on a vacant lot between Fairmount and Routh streets.

The only bad news: the store won’t be open until 2015.

I am kind of loving it that everywhere I go in the U.S.A., I see a Whole Foods, from Columbus Circle to Napa to Honolulu, Hawaii and even in Maui. And I love reminding people that Whole Foods is a TEXAS-BASED store, which is still expanding bigtime.

As for a 38,000 square foot store, that will be smaller than my mothership store over at Preston/Forest, a little larger than (gulp) the Central Market that recently opened at Preston Royal, which is just over 30,000 square feet. Personally, I like the smaller stores — easier to get in and out, not as much food-surfing which leads to purchases that rot in my pantry or fridge.

Here’s the release:

Whole Foods Market® Announces Plans for 11th Store in D/FW

 

WHAT:

Whole Foods Market® announced today that it plans to build a store in the Uptown area of Dallas. At the present time, plans are to build a 38,000 square foot store.

 

WHERE:

McKinney Avenue and Routh Street

 

WHEN:

Estimated opening date is in 2015

 

ADDITIONAL:

 

Eight Whole Foods Market stores are currently open in the North Texas area; the Richardson store will relocate to Addison (Dallas North Tollway at Belt Line) in summer of 2013; a Ft. Worth store is planned with opening date t.b.d.; a store in the Shops at Highland Village in late 2014. Whole Foods Market/Uptown will be store #11.

 

Mark Dixon, President/Southwest Region of Whole Foods Market, said that “the Uptown area’s vibrant restaurant and retail scene, established neighborhoods and new construction, plus its proximity to downtown and the Arts District make it an attractive location. After years of interest in Uptown, we feel we have finally found the perfect spot.”

# # #

For media information, contact:

 

Karen Lukin

Whole Foods Market/Dallas Media & Community Relations

[email protected]

214/676-4669