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MCMURRAY, Pa. -- Six months after the news hit that Giant Eagle Inc. was planning to debut a new small-format concept combining its flagship Market District and Giant Eagle Express formats, the first Market District Express store opened for business today.
The retailer's newest supermarket/convenience store hybrid welcomed customers in McMurray, a community in Peters Township, Washington County. The store measures 15,500 square feet and features a market, restaurant and pharmacy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"We really think this is going to be a local neighborhood store," said Rob Borella, senior director of corporate communications.
The Market District Express format boasts an 84-seat indoor dining room, framed in reclaimed barn wood and positioned next to the prepared food counters. The store also offers a self-serve frozen yogurt station, a produce section and a beer department carrying more than 300 varieties, the newspaper reported.
Giant Eagle views this latest development as a test. However, plans are already on the drawing board to build two additional Market District Express locations in Ohio -- one in the Columbus market and the other in the Cleveland market.
Market District Express will accept the grocer's loyalty cards and allow customers to accrue gas discounts on items allowed by the state. Borella noted, though, that the store will be only loosely tied to the rest of the grocer's promotional programs.
The new format employs about 120 people; that compares to 300 to 350 at a traditional Giant Eagle store, 500 to 600 at a full-size Market District store and 25 to 30 employees at a Giant Eagle GetGo convenience store.
Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. operates supermarkets and GetGo fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.