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Several grocers announce new Greater Philly stores, as Swann’s Pantry closes

Several grocers announce new Greater Philly stores, as Swann’s Pantry closes

Warminster, PA

Bucks County, PA will see its first Lidl store when it opens in a former Pathmark in Warminster later this year. And according to township officials, Weis Markets will fill a portion of the former Kmart building nearby, and Aldi is proposing a new store a few miles away.

West Philadelphia

In the Overbook neighborhood of West Philadelphia, a Golden Farms grocery store opened last month in the space formerly occupied by ShopRite. The ShopRite operator had closed about a year ago, complaining that the city’s tax on sweetened beverages, known as the “soda tax,” forced the store out of business. Despite his decision to open a store, Pedro Goico, who co-owns four Golden Farms stores, is worried about the tax and doesn’t plan to open any more stores in Philadelphia.

Mayor Jim Kenney lauded the store opening, pointing out that it was the 10th supermarket to open in Philadelphia since the tax was implemented in 2017. He added that five more are expected to open this year.

Golden Farms is associated with Key Foods stores.

University City, Philadelphia

After four years of legal battles with its landlord, Fresh Grocer has closed its University City location, and a University of Pennsylvania spokesperson confirmed that Acme would open in the space later this year.

In April 2016 Penn claimed that Fresh Grocer didn’t renew its lease in a timely fashion, and asked Fresh Grocer to leave upon its March 2017 lease expiration. A legal fight ensued, which Fresh Grocer finally lost.

Quakertown, PA

Swann’s Pantry, which once had stores in Quakertown, Exton and Levittown, is now officially out of business. The Levittown store closed several years ago, and the Quakertown and Exton locations are now closed.

“Many customers were in tears,” said Francis Swann. “But we just weren’t getting enough sales.”

Swann’s was a family-owned  grocer that offered deep discounts by stocking close-out products that became available because of overproduction, packaging changes, seasonal changes (cereal boxes with Christmas decorations, for example) or warehouse damage. They also benefited from surplus inventory, like after a new product was introduced to the market.

Francis Swann’s efforts to sell the business were unsuccessful.