Multiply and Diversify

Many grocers are experimenting with new formats lately, hoping to find the perfect mix of products and features that match their customers' busy, value-conscious lifestyles.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Giant Eagle has stores located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. One of the largest, privately owned and family-operated companies in the nation, the retailer has enjoyed steady growth; 2012 sales were approximately $9.9 billion through November, according to Forbes.

Giant Eagle operates more than 400 retail locations that vary from 120,000-sq-ft supermarkets to small neighborhood markets and convenience store/fuel locations. Each Giant Eagle store carries between 22,000 and 60,000 items, about 5,000 of which are branded by Giant Eagle. Each format is carefully selected for and tailored to the community it serves.

Launched in 2006, the Market District concept centers on a love of food from every corner of the globe. Team members are self-described "foodies" and take pride in sharing their expert knowledge of their product of choice, whether it be artisanal cheeses or the fine wine that complements perfectly.

Giant Eagle Express, a supermarket/convenience store hybrid, is scaled down in size and designed to be easy to navigate, focusing on getting busy shoppers in and then on their way quickly.

A focus on fresh and made-to-order foods, like freshly made breakfast sandwiches, quality sub sandwiches, and a hot bar and salad bar, make Express locations logical breakfast or lunch stops for commuters.

GetGo from Giant Eagle is a convenience store and fuel hybrid store. In addition to fuel, stores offer fresh baked goods like doughnuts and pastries along with fresh salads, kids meals and deli sandwiches.

This summer, the retailer announced a new format designed to be a hybrid of the flagship Market District format with the Giant Eagle Express format. The two-story location will be built on a 1.7-acre parcel, but otherwise Giant Eagle has been tight-lipped on details. Destined for the posh Cleveland suburb of Bexeley, Ohio, the first store is scheduled to open by 2015.