Super Rite puts Metro in Crofton

December 09, 1993|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Continuing its ambitious expansion program, Super Rite Foods Inc. is opening a $4 million Metro Food Market in Crofton Saturday -- its fifth Metro in the last 14 months -- and plans to open five more in the next year.

"Metro is pretty hot right now," said Jeff Metzger, publisher of Food World, a trade magazine based in Columbia. "Metro is the (( No. 1 filly in the stable," he said.

Super Rite, based in Harrisburg, Pa., also owns the Basics Food chain in Maryland, which has 22 stores.

The aggressive expansion program has boosted Metro and Basics to the No. 2 spot, with an 8.6 percent market share as of June, up from 7 percent the year before, according to Mr. Metzger. But that is still far behind No. 1 Giant Food Inc. of Landover, which has 28.9 percent of the local market, he said.

Like its four sister stores, the new Metro, at the intersection of Route 3 and Route 424, will promote its "Theater of Food" concept, where produce is heaped on tables and meats are prepared and sliced in full view of the customers. "Everybody is upfront, facing the customer," said John Ryder, president and chief operating officer of both the Metro and Basics chains.

About 300 employees were hired to staff the 60,000-square-foot store, which also features an in-store branch of Provident Bank of Maryland and a mamma ilardo's pizza stand. Customers will be able to apply for a mortgage and pick up a pizza for dinner at the same time, Mr. Ryder said. "It's all part of the one-stop shopping concept," he said.

The five-store Metro chain will double in size in the next year as the company adds stores in Pasadena, Catonsville, Timonium, Dover, Del., and an undisclosed location, Mr. Ryder said.

Each store will cost about $4 million and employ about 300 people, he said.

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