Monday, October 15, 2012

Harris Teeter's 201Central stores opening Wednesday

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.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/09/17/3535498/201central-harris-teeter-launch.html#storylink=cpy

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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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that they are concentrating so much on their wine departments. Hopefully most people realize that HT charges on average about $4-$6 more per bottle than Total Wine.

A bottle that cost $11.99 at Total Wine is $16.99 at HT, and then they even go so far as to show that it has been discounted from $19.99! Sadly, that same brand has never been $19.99. When the manager was asked, they referred me to the 'corporate office'. There you can only leave a message with your information. I never got a call back. I sent an email and they generated an auto reply. Never had any reply and it has been months.

I would much rather have the convenience of going to the grocery store to get the wine I want, but not for that kind of a mark up. I will continue making the trek to Total Wine.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they're doing a soft launch - the Wesley Chapel store is already open. I was in there on Saturday.

JE said...

The map to the Huntersville/Cornelius store is not correct. That store is near the intersection of Sam Furr and Catawba Ave.

Anonymous said...

JE - Nope. The map pointing to the 201Central at Highland Creek is correct. Prosperity and Eastfield.

Greg said...

"The map to the Huntersville/Cornelius store is not correct. That store is near the intersection of Sam Furr and Catawba Ave."

The map is correct. The Lowe's store that is now a 201Central is at the corner of Prosperity Church and Eastfield. Granted, that area doesn't seem like it'd be call Huntersville, but I live right down the road off Eastfield. The signage on the building is definitely 201Central and has been under construction for months. I know where the store is you're talking about, but I haven't driven by there in awhile to know if it's eventually converting.

Anonymous said...

Actually there are 2 Huntersville stores. I assume the one off of Sam Furr (the old Lowe's store) will be opening later on. There was a previous article that said that one was converting also.

Anonymous said...

Welsey Chapel is open. The whole concept is incredibly disappointing. No specialty foods to speak of that I saw. It's an overpriced wine and beer shop (The Wine Store is the only place to go for wine in CLT) with pre packaged food that you find at any HT. Maybe if HT corporate would spend more time in Whole Foods they will understand what a specialty store is all about.

Anonymous said...

dont think the old Lowes in Cornelius/Huntersville (sam furr rd @ catawba) is converting. there is a for sale sign out front.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, there is nothing special about this new HT store. Went to the Wesley Chapel location earlier today and I was let down. The homebrew supplies and humidor are nice, but everything else you can get at a regular HT and Total Wine. Honestly don't think this store will be around long. Just not unique enough.

Anonymous said...

I really don't get the deal with Whole foods- I have been to the store and I just don't get it- I mean nice stuff- very pricy but I don't see it as a life alterting experience as some seem too-- then again finding out that Trader Joe's Peanut butter was made by the same people who make Target peanut butter and both were infected kind of proves that most of what we buy comes from the same places, just different labels and different prices--

Anonymous said...

The idea should have been shot down as soon as the name was floated... "201Central"?!!! I understand the motive -- but I think that name and this undertaking will eventually be part of conversations that include ideas like "New Coke" and "The Paul Reiser Show".

Hey Harris Teeter -- wanna catch Wal-Mart again? Why don't you consider revisiting the basics --like culling out-of-date stock from your shelves especially in your dairy dept. I can't count the number of times we've found out-of-date product on HTs shelves---and they demand a premium for the experience of shopping there.

The excessive mark-up on some of the items in the store are laughable.

Can't wait for more competition to come to this area...

Anonymous said...

They should fire the idiots that came up with this concept. Ht is so arrogant they believe their loyal customer base will buy their overpriced products in any venue. Hate that they ran Lowes Foods out of town. They are running scared of Publix, trying to buy up real estate before Publix could get to it.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I worked for Harris Teeter for 5 years, I hated every second of it, the companies priorities are definitely in the wrong place. With that said, this store is amazing! They have craft beers at their bar for 2 dollars a bottle, and will pour them in a glass for you so you can drink while you shop! Definitely a win!

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of vitriol on HT's concept. I thought the store was beautiful. It reminded me of what Reid's Fine Foods wanted to be but couldn't in such a nice space. Maybe the people who are angry should go back to Food Lion or Bi-Lo. ;-)

The cheese selection was broad, wines out the yin-yang, what I enjoyed was the variety of craft beers from around the country, and I even saw some local chocolates? Very cool!