As Food Trade News declared in its annual Market Study issue, ShopRite has become the dominant grocery retailer in Northern New Jersey, the Delaware Valley and Greater Philadelphia. And as the Supermarket News reported last week, ShopRite is now competing in new markets.

In recent weeks the company opened its first store in the Albany, NY area. That’s Price Chopper territory. In the 70s and 80s it was Price Chopper (where I stocked shelves) and Grand Union (where my best friend worked the register). Now it’s Price Chopper and Hannaford (part of the Delhaize Group, which includes Food Lion and Bottom Dollar). The word on the street is that ShopRite is looking to open several stores in the area, including Clifton Park, NY, which is my hometown and home to two Price Choppers, a Walmart Supercenter, a Hannaford and an Aldi. My how the town has grown.

ShopRite is also expanding into Maryland, where it will compete with Giant and Safeway, among others. The bottom line is that it won’t be easy for ShopRite in Northern New York or Maryland, but the members of the Wakefern Cooperative are strong operators with a proven recipe for success, and ultimately plenty of staying power. In the end it will be good for consumers, as ShopRite will force its competitors to remain on their game.