Harris Teeter opens on Ninth Street

Nov. 13, 2013 @ 06:03 PM

Durham resident Donna Weaver had mixed feelings about the opening of the new Harris Teeter grocery store on Ninth Street.

The landscape of the area has changed, she said, and she doesn’t want a big-box store.

“But we love Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods, I guess, needs competition,” she said on Wednesday, which was the grand opening day for the new store.

The 53,000-square-foot grocery store is the anchor of the Shops at Erwin Mill, a renovated shopping complex that also includes buildings where the George’s Garage restaurant used to be and also where the new Tex-Mex restaurant Tijuana Flats is now open.

The redevelopment project was undertaken by a partnership between the Raleigh-based Chartwell Group and Regency Centers Corp., a national owner, operator and developer of grocery store-anchored shopping centers.

Other tenants coming to the renovated buildings include Pure Barre, Panera Bread, 140 Salon & Dry Bar, Massage Envy Spa and The Duck Shop.

The shops are opening across from where many long-time independent businesses have been in operation on Ninth.

“I’m looking forward to this – watching the development of Ninth Street,” said Darren Byerly, who owns the independent business The Duck Shop, in a news release.

The store, which sells Duke University apparel, currently is on the western side of the street next to Tijuana Flats.

“It’s great to see a company invest to improve the shopping and dining district,” he said in the statement. “I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Salisbury resident Elliot Vasquez also stopped in the new grocery store on opening day. He said he has worked on the construction of the nearby Crescent Ninth Street apartment complex and has watched the store’s progress.

“It’s beautiful,” he said of the finished product.

The grocery store has amenities including a hot Asian-food bar, a sit-down eatery with a Starbucks, and a selection of organic, natural and specialty foods.

The store is one of more than 200 in the Southeast owned by Matthews-based publicly traded Harris Teeter. The company ranked No. 3 in market share for the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area in Chain Store Guide’s “2013 Grocery Industry Market Share Report,” which was released in March.

The ranking was done by average sales volumes per store based on the parent company’s total grocery sales, using fiscal year 2012 numbers.

It fell behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Food Lion, capturing 14.7 percent of the market, to Wal-Mart’s 20.5 percent and Food Lion’s 19.3 percent.

Kroger, at fourth, had 13 percent. Costco was sixth with 7.7 percent and Whole Foods was seventh at 5.2 percent. In October, Harris Teeter’s shareholders approved the sale of the business to The Kroger Co. The deal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of the year. Harris Teeter’s name is expected to remain the same.

Also in the Ninth Street area, there’s a Food Lion on Hillsborough Road and a Whole Foods on Broad Street.