Harris Teeter confirms it is about to close one of its Charlotte stores

Harris Teeter confirms it is about to close one of its Charlotte stores

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Catherine Muccigrosso//The Charlotte Observer) - Harris Teeter is closing one of its University-area stores as Charlotte’s grocery war competition continues.

Danna Robinson, Harris Teeter communications manager, confirmed on Wednesday that the 45,000-square-foot store at 2201 West WT Harris Blvd. will close on or before Jan. 5, but did not provide a specific date.

Robinson said the Matthews-based company told its 77 store employees on Monday that the store is closing and offered them the opportunity to transfer to other locations. The store opened in August 1994.

“Harris Teeter made a strategic decision to close this location only after careful consideration,” Robinson said in an email.

But Robinson did not respond to a question about whether Harris Teeter might close other Charlotte stores soon.

Harris Teeter has more than 250 stores with 19 locations Charlotte, including the site closing in the Mallard Creek area, according to its website. Other University-area locations include ones at Cochran Commons, Davis Lake and Town Center Plaza.

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Traditional grocery stores in the Charlotte region – and the rest of the U.S. – are getting bigger, experts say, to stay competitive, the Observer has reported.

“The traditional supermarket of 40,000 square feet is a dinosaur,” supermarket analyst Phil Lempert previously told the Observer.

Harris Teeter opened two of its largest Charlotte stores in less than two years, replacing smaller stores.

On Nov. 13, Harris Teeter opened an 81,028-square-foot Riverbend Village location at 4701 Smith Farm Road in Charlotte, replacing the Mountain Island Marketplace store, according to the company website.

Another Charlotte location opened in fall 2018. That 78,000-square-foot store at Rea Farms on Providence Road, south of Interstate 485, replaced the former Rea Village nearby.

And Harris Teeter is planning to open a 64,000-square-foot store in Fort Mill, S.C., The Herald in Rock Hill reported.

Harris Teeter remains the No. 1 grocery chain in the region by market share, according to data released in the spring by Chain Store Guide. Walmart and Food Lion remain No. 2 and No. 3 in the region respectively, as they were a year prior.

However, these established stores in the Charlotte market are losing ground, according to the sales-tracking firm, with openings by others like Lidl and Publix. Harris Teeter still holds 18.8% of the local sales, but down from 19.8% the prior year, according to the guide.

On Wednesday, German grocer Lidl opened its newest North Carolina store and its first in Charlotte. Another store will open in Spring 2020 on Margaret Wallace Road in Matthews, while a store could also open at West Mallard Creek Church Road and Berkeley Place, the Observer previously reported.