Giant Food Stores announced that it expects to invest $114 million in capital expenditures in Pennsylvania over the next 18 months.
Joined by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin at the 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show Jan. 9, the Pennsylvania-based company unveiled plans to create an innovative Giant Direct ecommerce fulfillment center, open two new stores, and remodel 35 existing stores in 2020 and 2021.
With this investment, Giant will grow its commitment to the city of Philadelphia, its home market in Central Pennsylvania and Monroe County.
“We’re doubling down on growth and innovation for our customers, building on the incredible momentum of 2019, and continuing to invest in our great commonwealth,” said Nicholas Bertram, president. “The accelerated growth of Giant Direct has set the stage for additional investment opportunities that extend our ecommerce geographic reach. At the same time, our GIANT Heirloom Market format has enabled us to reach an entirely new demographic in Philadelphia.”
Giant opened 17 new stores and launched two new brands in 2019. In January, the company debuted its new Heirloom Market format in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia, followed by locations in University City and Northern Liberties.
In February, Giant opened a first-of-its kind Giant Direct ecommerce hub in Lancaster, and began to rollout the brand to its stores. In over just 10 months, the company’s number of grocery pickup locations climbed from zero to 125.
Giant also introduced PA Preferred shelf tags, a first of its kind program by a Pennsylvania retailer, designed to help customers easily identify the more than 1,200 Pennsylvania products available in its stores year-round. For these achievements, GIANT was named Retailer of the Year by Supermarket News.
Keeping its focus on growth in Philadelphia, Giant will construct its largest omni-channel fulfillment center in support of Giant Direct. It is expected to bring over 200 new jobs to the Eastwick community.
Located at 3501 Island Avenue, the 124,000-square-foot facility will be completely renovated and will provide more capacity, better distribution and room to grow home delivery and in-store pickup serving the increasing number of customers who want to order online. GIANT will partner with Peapod Digital Labs, an Ahold Delhaize USA company, to drive the development of this facility.
A new, ground-up 66,000-square-foot Giant will be built in Pocono Summit, at the southwest corner of Interstate 380 and state Route 940, the Pocono Summit location.
This capital investment follows the company’s previously announced fourth Heirloom Market, coming to Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood and the planned urban flagship Giant in the new Riverwalk development along the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, both anticipated to open in 2020.
Giant plans to remodel 35 stores in various locations across its operating footprint that, in some cases, may include a new Beer & Wine Eatery. Stores selected for remodel will include features to simplify shopping for busy families such as optimized product assortment, streamlined order pickup, improved merchandise displays, and modernized décor.
As Pennsylvania’s second-largest private employer, Giant currently employs more than 27,000 people statewide.
Giant has taken steps to attract and retain talent by investing in culture, leadership, and service training across its corporate office, perishable distribution center and stores.
The company also announced the launch of new parental leave benefits that will provide qualifying full- and part-time associates with four weeks of fully paid leave during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or legal placement of a child. This is in addition to the six weeks paid short-term disability for birthing mothers. The addition of paid parental leave complements the competitive benefits offerings available to GIANT associates, including Paid Time Off, education reimbursement, health care and disability coverage.