First store: Founder H.D. Snell opened United Cash Store in Sayre, Okla., in 1916; his son H.D. “Jack” Snell purchased the two Texas stores in Vernon and Wellington in 1949
Company home: Parent company United Supermarkets is based in Lubbock; the company launched its Market Street format in Colleyville in 2003
Total stores: 50 in three formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos United
Road trip to closest store: Market Street in Plano at Preston and Park
Other North Texas Market Street locations: Allen, Frisco, McKinney and Coppell
What’s the big deal?: Market Street’s mantra is “where everyday meets gourmet.” It’s often compared to Central Market in a 70,000-square-foot suburban format. The stores carry typical groceries plus organic and gourmet foods, and contain several types of restaurants in the store —Italian kitchen, coffee bar, salad bar, sandwich bar. Two of the North Texas stores also include a “Taste of Market Street” convenience store with prepared foods and other grab-and-go items.
From the horse’s mouth: “We’ve kind of been in a holding pattern because we’ve maxed out our distribution center; we’re serving all 50 of our current stories out of Lubbock distribution center in some departments. Our second distribution center in Roanoke will service our 16 easternmost stores, including the six in the Metroplex, and allow us to grow down there but also allow us to grow out here. We are looking at the Metorplex, not just for our Market Street brand but for the other two brands as well, especially the Hispanic format store. The growth projections we have seen over next 20 or so years indicate a real explosion for the Hispanic population. The population of West Texas is flat at best, and in many communities we operate, it’s declining. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is obviously opposite. We saw great opportunities there for our Market Street banner. We’re looking at established families, young families. Women are our primary shopper, ages 25-54. We have even considered developing an urban format store — a much, much, much smaller scale [typical Market Street stores are 70,000 square feet], and it might be, to some degree, along the lines of our Taste of Market Street concept where we would have some fresh offerings available as well as the traditional supermarket offerings.” —Eddie Owens, United Supermarkets spokesman
Expert opinion: “It could [come], but those shoppers go to Central Market, they go to Whole Foods. They are a little bit of an older demographic, and they’ve grown up with that … so they’re not as willing to try new things as the younger consumer up north.” —Kent Arnold
“Great concept. The whole idea is combing natural and organic with our daily grocery items. … [They] mimic what Central Market does and what other high-end grocery stores do. Just like Central Market, it’s a specialty cousin of a full line grocery store out in Lubbock.” —David Shelton
“I think they’ll definitely continue to build a presence here. Every store they’ve opened has been very successful. Average volume [overall sales per store] of a Market Street is significantly higher than a Tom Thumb or a Kroger. It’s neat to see somebody out of West Texas come and compete, and carve out their own niche.” —Mike Geisler
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