Thursday, August 6, 2009

Novato DeLano's to close

The Novato Grocery War claimed it's first victim yesterday, with news of the closure of DeLano's at Novato Square. DeLano's was always the weakest of the incumbent grocers in Novato, so no major surprise that the store was getting hit by the slowdown in consumer spending and the new competition from the Hamilton Safeway , Trader Joe's at The Village and Grocery Outlet.

Despite the DeLano's exit, there are more battles ahead for Novato's markets, with Whole Foods and Paradise Foods scheduled to open within the next few months. I wouldn't be surprised to see either of these stores postponing their opening given the current state of the economy, and in particular a lot of negative press about the viability and impact of the Whole Foods / Millworks development, which has switched from condos to apartments after only 2 of the 124 units were sold.

But if the stores open as planned, the underlying problem will remain - that with these new stores, Novato will have too much grocery space for its population, and the grocery war will surely claim another victim.

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