LIVINGSTON–Hannaford Supermarkets, the grocery company based in Scarborough, ME, has begun the application and permitting process to build a new supermarket between Routes 9 and 82 on a six-acre site currently occupied by the Happy Clown ice cream store.
Company officials say the new store, which they expect will attract shoppers from as Hudson to Red Hook, will open late next year or early 2012. Once the permitting process is complete, construction is expected to take about nine months. The store will be a full service supermarket with a pharmacy, butcher shop, produce, deli, bakery, and seafood featuring locally grown produce.
It will be the same size as the new store the company is planning to build in New Lebanon, and about half the size of the store the company operates newar Valatie in the Town of Kinderhook. It will employ 65 people hired locally and will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. No companion stores are planned for the site.
Hannaford has sought to distinguish itself from other grocery stores through its strong commitment to eco friendly and healthy practices in building, lighting, recycling and in its product offerings and marketing strategies. The company will seek a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Livingston Store, where it will apply some, if not all, of the energy saving strategies it has employed in other stores, including its flagship store in Augusta. Savings from these strategies are passed on to customers, said Hannaford spokesman Michael Norton in a phone interview this week.
“It’s good business practice,” Mr. Norton said. “We got involved in doing this… in the early 1980s. It grew out of our engineering department. The grocery business is so highly competitive that working on energy efficiency gave us an edge. They got good at it, like a lot of homeowners. By our measures, our supermarkets are 20 to 25% more efficient than the average supermarket.”
“Social responsibility came in later. People want to shop at like-minded stores. If you’re in the community you figure it out. They came together nicely”
The Hannaford store in Augusta, Maine’s capital city, is recognized as the world’s most environmentally advanced supermarket. It received a Platinum LEED rating certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It has a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels, a roof planted with vegetation for insulation and storm water control.
“For us it was a learning lab. Even if we were already above average, we learned more than we knew before and it raised standards for all stores. We learned where to invest to get the greatest energy savings,” Mr. Norton said.
Energy savings were realized from iceless refrigeration systems that save water and electricity. In the Augusta store, solar panels, the largest solar installation in Maine, resulted in 3% savings on electricity. Other savings were realized by use of a design that maximized use of natural light, and reduced dependence on electric lighting. Buying produce from area farms and building materials from regional suppliers cuts transportation costs and carbon emissions. Paint that has fewer volatile compounds leads to better air quality during construction and for the life of the building. A strong commitment to recycling also helps lower construction costs and overhead.
The company offers organic produce and gluten free products in addition to conventional food products. Foods are rated according to what the company says is the nation’s first nutrition navigation system, “Guiding Stars,” which uses a scale from zero to three stars, with three stars marking the healthiest products. Hannaford says that soon its stores will procure seafood only from sustainable fisheries.
The company operates one of its food distribution centers in Schodack, just north of Kinderhook on Route 9. The company says that purchasing food from area farms provides energy savings and supports local agriculture. And frequent deliveries reduce the need for storage space, which makes it possible for the company to operate smaller stores, like the ones proposed for Livingston and New Lebanon, which have selections similar to larger stores.
Livingston officials were not available for comment prior to press deadline.
Hannaford’s website, www.hannaford.com, says that the company operates 170 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, and employs 26,000 “associates. It is owned by the Belgian company Delhaize Group, a major international food retailer, which has 2,500 stores worldwide.