Fill the Fridge, Gas Tank
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Sep 7, 2012, 11:26
Shoppers at the Colonial Heights Martin’s will soon be able to add a new item to their shopping lists. In addition to the usual assortment of food, cleaning products and other household items, the store will now offer gasoline.
“We are working through the permitting process right now for a new fuel station at our Colonial Heights store,” said Chris Brand, public relations manager for the Giant-Carlisle Division of Dutch supermarket company Ahold, which operates Martin’s stores.
“The plan is to have what we call five fuel dispensers, which will allow for 10 positions at the fuel station,” he said.
The gas station will be located directly across Boulevard from the grocery store at the road’s intersection with Lakeview, on the lot that was once a Friendly’s.
George Schanzenbacher, Director of Planning and Community Development for Colonial Heights said the site plan was first presented to the Planning Commission in March and approved in April.
If everything goes according to plan, Martin’s hopes to begin construction on the station at the end of September, opening it for business before the end of the year. Keystone Contractors will be building the facility.
“Everything’s moving forward and hopefully they’ll see some construction there by October,” said Colonial Heights economic development coordinator Bonnie King.
“We’re excited about it,” she added.
Brand said that the fuelperks! program, which is currently only available at Martin’s stores in the metro Richmond and Tri-Cities areas and allows customers to receive discounts on gas for money they spend in store, is extremely popular with customers. The new service station will allow them to take advantage of the discounts on gasoline in the most convenient way possible he said.
The Colonial Heights store will be part of the expanding number of Martin’s stores with gas stations. Brand said the first fueling station, at the chain’s Williamsburg store, proved popular with consumers. Two Martin’s locations in the greater Richmond area just opened fueling stations last week.
“We have begun to work very diligently toward constructing more stores with gas stations,” Brand said.
The addition to the Colonial Heights store is just one of many improvements and renovations the company will make to Richmond-area Martin’s stores in the near future.
The company has plans to build a new 74,000-square-foot store in Chesterfield to replace the existing Sycamore Square Shopping Center location. Once completed, it will be the largest Martin’s in the region.
“We’ll probably break ground next year and then the store will open in 2014,” Brand said.
Brand said the push to improve and expand shopping centers in the area is the result of positive feedback.
“We came to the market not too long ago and we’ve recently had some gains in market shares, so our customers are giving us some good feedback, not only from the written and spoken word, but also from the footsteps that we’ve seen increase in our stores,” he said. “... We’re looking for more opportunities to continue that trend.”
Martin’s came to the area in early 2010 after buying Ukrop’s Super Market stores for $140 million. By 2014, the company plans to have spent $100 million on changes to the 24 Richmond-area stores and one Williamsburg store.