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PriceRite aims for defunct Vix site on Kenmore Avenue

PriceRite Grocery has picked a Kenmore Avenue address for its second Buffalo supermarket.

The no-frills, discount food seller will open at 1740 Kenmore Ave. this summer in a building that formerly housed a Tops supermarket and a Vix Deep Discount pharmacy.

"We're going to do a complete gutting and renovation. It will be a completely new store," said Jeanette Castaneda, a spokeswoman for Wakefern Food Corp., PriceRite's parent company.

The company will invest approximately $3 million to rework the site into a PriceRite.

The discount food seller is currently overhauling another former supermarket at Stuyvesant Plaza on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood as its first local store. The store, which is undergoing $2.5 million in renovations, is slated to open this spring.

Castaneda said PriceRite was shopping around the city for a second location and selected the Kenmore Avenue site, which is right on the border between Buffalo and the Village of Kenmore.

"We were looking for a site with dense population and availability and this is a good fit," the spokeswoman said.

She also noted the lack of direct competition from another supermarket in the immediate neighborhood. The chain, which markets itself to budget-conscious consumers as a low-price alternative, will face competition from Tops, Wegmans, Budwey's, Dash's and Save-a-Lot, all of which have stores within a two-mile radius of the planned PriceRite.

The Connecticut-based corporation Tuesday purchased the vacant Kenmore Avenue retail property for $875,000. The 40,800-square-foot building was constructed in 1972 as a Tops market and was converted to a Tops-owned Vix in the late 1980s. Tops sold off its Vix division in 1999 and the Kenmore location was shuttered by its new owner in 2003.

Founded in 1995, the 36-store PriceRite chain now has stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The food company states its mission as offering customers "Impossibly, Inconceivably, Incredibly Low Grocery Prices Every Day!"

The company purposely flies under the radar screen with no regular advertising or weekly circulars. Its store decor is also low-key, with an emphasis on cleanliness and convenience.

A typical PriceRite store features a 6,500-square-foot produce section, as well as fresh meat and bakery departments. The stores stock a mix of national and PriceRite brand goods.

Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags.

The new market is expected to employ as many as 100 full- and part-time workers.


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