Big Y plans to open Big Y Express Fresh Market on June 1, as well as two new Big Y Express c-stores in Connecticut on July 15. / Photo: Shutterstock
Big Y Foods plans to open Big Y Express Fresh Market, a new small-format store concept announced last year, on June 1 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The 10,000-square-foot store occupies a space on the ground floor of the 28-story Tower Square building at 1500 Main St. in downtown Springfield. The tower anchors a mixed-use complex including office, hotel, retail, dining, service, education and community space.
Big Y held a hiring event for the Express Fresh Market on April 18 and plans to hold a grand opening celebration for the store on June 15. The new location is much larger than Big Y Express convenience stores—topping out at around 2,000 square feet, with some legacy stores a bit smaller—but significantly smaller than a conventional Big Y supermarket, which runs about 55,000 square feet.
“At 10,000 square feet, it is just under a fifth of the size of a ‘normal’ Big Y [supermarket], both in footprint and offerings,” Colin D’Amour, senior director of Big Y Express, told Winsight Grocery Business in an email on Thursday. “We have worked hard in developing this smaller format and feel we are offering a market with a ‘full shop’ opportunity despite a bit of a limited variety.”
Though Big Y Express Fresh Market is “not a complete supermarket due to its size,” the Springfield-based grocer noted that “many will be surprised at what Big Y will be able to offer within this new location’s format.” Offerings will include high-quality prepared meals and sandwiches plus natural and organic products and everyday staples, with more than 250 fresh produce items. A sushi chef also will be on-site preparing fresh sushi daily. In addition, customers will find fresh-baked bread and cake, “bean-to-cup” coffee, and hot breakfast sandwiches.
Store operating hours will be 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. According to Big Y, the immediate area includes downtown residents, office workers, UMass classrooms and YMCA daycare, among others, who are seeking more convenient food retail options.
“While we are very excited about what this market means for downtown Springfield, this was a very unique opportunity for us, and currently there are no plans to expand this concept,” D’Amour said in the email.
Big Y’s fuel and convenience store business also is expanding. Plans call for Big Y Express stores to open on July 15 in Somers (580 Main Street) and Enfield (241 Hazard Avenue), Connecticut. That will bring the total Big Y Express store count to 17, including six in Connecticut.
Each of the Big Y Express locations will have eight fuel pumps, and the stores will offer amenities such as the signature Wide Awake fresh coffee, grab-and-go foods, snacks and staples like milk and cold drinks. Members of the myBigY rewards program will receive a 5-cents-per-gallon fuel discount and can earn an additional $1.50 savings per gallon via grocery purchases at any Big Y market.
The Somers and Enfield Big Y Express stores will operate Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Currently, Big Y operates 89 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 72 Big Y supermarkets, one Big Y at Fresh Acres grocery store, one Table & Vine Fine Wines & Liquors store and 15 Big Y Express convenience/fuel stores. Big Y Express Fresh Market will mark the company’s fifth retail banner.