El Paso ripe for new grocery chainsEl Paso ripe for new grocery chainshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=129122016-04-21T05:00:00Z2016-04-21T19:00:00Z

​​​EL PASO - ​The area grocery market, long dominated by Walmart, is likely to see new grocery-store chains emerge in the coming years.

"We know there are grocers with eyes on this market," said Douglas Munson, founder and principal owner of MTN Retail Advisors in Salt Lake City.

"Having Whole Foods here (in October) will open a lot of eyes. I expect nothing but great things from Whole Foods in this market. I think, in my opinion, they're going to outperform what they estimated they were going to do in this market," Munson said.

Sprouts Farmers Market's years-old West El Paso store is one of the Phoenix-based chain's top stores for sales, and that got Whole Foods' attention, Munson said. 

Sprouts in February added a second store in East El Paso, which drew big crowds in its opening week.

Carolyn Falco, executive coordinator of operations for Whole Foods Rocky Mountain division, which includes El Paso, said this area has the age, education, and income demographics Whole Foods looks for when locating a store.

Whole Foods is scheduled to open a 50,000-sf store in mid-October that will anchor the La Villita development, which will include retail, restaurant and office space, at the corner of N. Mesa St. and Pitt St. 

The store will include a "pub room," which will serve local beers, food, and have large-screen TVs for viewing sports broadcasts, including the Chihuahuas minor-league baseball team.

With natural-food stores growing as a segment of the grocery industry, Supermarket giant Kroger Co. recently invested in Colorado-based Lucky's Market, which, Munson said, is likely to mean big growth for the up-and-coming natural food grocery chain. That could be good news for El Paso and other markets, he said.

Jessica Herrera, assistant director for the city Economic and International Development Department, said supermarkets are a catalyst for retail developments, including mixed-use developments.

El Paso Times
El Paso

​Informati​on from ​El Paso Development News was also used for this story. 

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