Matthews-based Harris Teeter is holding a grand opening for two new specialty stores named 201central on Wednesday, as the grocer works to expand its offerings and stay competitive in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
As we reported last month, the stores are both former Lowes Foods locations that Harris Teeter acquired in a deal earlier this year. The stores are in Huntersville and Wesley Chapel, and will have ribbon cuttings at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Named for store #201 on Central Avenue, one of the original Harris Teeter locations, the stores sell various specialty items, including 3,100 types of wine, 680 varieties of beer, 35 varieties of beer in kegs, cigars, cheeses, and international foods. They'll also carry bulk foods, including coffee, tea, nuts, grains and rice, a humidor, and beer- and wine-making equipment.
Here's some more from the company's announcement, about new services offered at the stores: "These services include event coordination and party rentals, as well as educational classes focused on wine, beer and food pairings. Meeting the demanding needs for convenience, 201central will also provide guests with the ability to explore a wide variety of wines utilizing the WineStation. This try-before-you buy, temperature controlled technology will enable guests to enjoy featured wines by the taste, half and full glass."
The stores give Harris Teeter a platform to experiment with new offerings, such as bulk food. They also give Harris Teeter more differentiation in an upscale market with two new competitors opening in Charlotte this year - Publix and Whole Foods.
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