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Sep 22, 2013 5:58 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Analysis Says Grocery Store In Tuckahoe Could Hurt Village Businesses

Sep 25, 2013 8:50 AM

An economist hired by a Southampton Village citizens group told the Southampton Town Board last week that the addition of a third grocery store within the village limits will boost business at retail stores throughout the village, and could even bring more shoppers to the two other village grocery stores, Waldbaum’s and Schmidt’s Market.

But economist Robert Gibbs also said that if a grocery store or supermarket were to be built outside the village limits—in particular on the main thoroughfares east and west of the village—it could negatively impact village businesses greatly.

Mr. Gibbs told board members and an audience of village residents and officials on Thursday, September 19, that a grocery store on County Road 39 up to 3 miles west or 2 miles east of the village could reduce the number of cars traveling into the village by 40 percent. That reduction in visits to the village could cause declines in business at the village’s retail shops by up to 15 percent, and at the village’s two existing grocery stores by up to 20 percent.

“It would have a very quick negative impact on both the grocery stores and the retailers in the village,” Mr. Gibbs told the board. “It would be especially devastating in the offseason.”

Mr. Gibbs was hired by the Southampton Association to conduct the analysis of the village’s retail sector and the impact that a third grocery store would have. The study was commissioned in response to an application by the owners of the former Glennon Buick Cadillac dealership at the intersection of Hampton Road and Flying Point Road to construct a Fresh Market grocery store inside the village but near its eastern border.

Since Mr. Gibbs undertook the study, Citarella has announced that it will be opening a gourmet market in a former retail mall at the downtown end of Hampton Road, its third South Fork store. That project won approval from the village in May and is slated to open in the spring of 2014, according to John Bennett, the Southampton-based attorney representing the applicant, Hampton Road Realty, this week.

Mr. Gibbs, in his presentation, never specifically referred to Citarella, since his study looked at a generic third grocery store that had not yet been proposed.

The association also asked Mr. Gibbs to look at the impact that a supermarket just outside the village, on one of the main thoroughfares, would have, in light of the proposal before the Town Board now for a King Kullen supermarket and 15,000 square feet of accompanying retail shops at the intersection of Magee Street and County Road 39 in Tuckahoe, not far from the village border.

The Michigan-based economist said his analysis included demographic studies and mapping of areas that potentially send customers to village stores. Among his other findings, Mr. Gibbs said, his figures showed that despite the proliferation of vacant storefronts, the village’s supply of potential customers also could support a substantial expansion of its retail district, by 20 percent or more—some 110,000 square feet of space on top of the 500,000 it already has.

Despite the added competition of a third grocery store, the existing stores can expect to see a growth in business if each is able to differentiate their product from that of the other two, Mr. Gibbs said, because a third store would attract more people to the village from a larger area. Customers, once in the village, are willing to make multiple stops for a variety of items, at more than one grocer as well as at other village businesses.

“This is very common—people will go to the grocer and while they are in the village they will make other visits,” Mr. Gibbs said. “If they are 3 miles outside the village, they are more likely to just go to the grocer and go home again without going out of their way to make other visits.”

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst suggested that the town conduct a similar study specifically for the King Kullen proposal, using some additional factors that Mr. Gibbs might not have accounted for in his own analysis, such as transportation factors.

Developer Robert Morrow, who proposed the two versions of the King Kullen development that have been considered by the town, said he was not familiar with the study presented to the town this week, but that two representatives of his company were at the presentation. His original application, which included 100,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants and a bank branch, as well as a dozen apartments, included a marketing study that showed ample demand for a new grocery store in the area. “It showed, overwhelmingly, that the area could support another supermarket,” he said.

But the study did not look in depth at what impact the development might have on businesses in the village. Village businesses owners led the opposition to the original plan, which was rejected by the Town Board, but have been largely quiet about the current proposal.

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By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Sep 22, 13 8:37 AM
3 members liked this comment
Sorry, but Schmidts is not a grocery store. I can get more groceries at CVS.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 9:27 AM
The most important take away from this article is the last paragraph in which ms Throne-Holst stands by her donor.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 9:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Let me get this straight. We don't need a King Kullen, but if one opens it will take all the local business?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 22, 13 11:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
"An Economist hired by a Southampton VIllage Citizens Group" is all I had to read to guess the outcome of the economist's report.
By Hamptonized (6), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 11:45 AM
5 members liked this comment
Remember the time we had 3 (real) supermarkets in the Village??? Now there is only one. Schmidt's is not a supermarket. We NEED another supermarket. As for me, it will not keep me from going into the village. Another report just a waste of taxpayers money. The plans for this project will only enhance that part of the highway which is an eye soar.
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 1:21 PM
2 members liked this comment
The study was not done with taxpayers money it was paid for by private citizens.
By Noelle (15), southampton on Sep 22, 13 10:49 PM
Schmidts -- price of one dozen large organic eggs: $7.99. Almost, but not quite, unbelievable.
By nancyloo (13), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 4:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
And yet there they are, still in business
By Photoman (10), East hampton on Sep 22, 13 11:50 PM
Is there any dispute that a large 40,000 sq ft, supermarket facility banned by zoning law and all the zoning studies for the last 25 years should not be there? With its accompanying 15,000 sq ft businesses, it will put a huge dent on village businesses that today already have the toughest time keeping their doors open. Empty ghost stores are not attractive.

Only Anna Throne Holst and a couple of Board members that the developer Robert Morrow gives "campaign money" to, keep this ghastly ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 22, 13 11:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ghastly project? Its a supermarket! Lol
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 23, 13 10:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
No prob:

-- anonymous blood relation pens back room deal to buy the site
-- Village annexes land south of CR39 like Rambo site

-- Bingo!

-- Instant new supermarket "in" the Village
-- increased property taxes
-- add shuttle bus to Village center incl. new Citarella and Whole Foods at Glennon site

No problem!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 5:00 AM
PS -- Add:

-- train platform at Magee St. crossing for East End Shuttle scoot trains
-- Park-and-Ride parking for NYC commute
-- more cafes, shops, boutiques, OTB, slots, etc.. to make entire area a destination like Tanger, but with easier public transit access
-- hotel like the Rechlers are putting in by the air base
-- condos like those proposed for the Canal

The sky's the limit!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 5:11 AM
Just for clarification, I don't think Robert Gibbs is an economist. Robert Gibbs, ASLA, PLA, CNU-A is currently the Director at Urban Retail Institute and the President of Gibbs Planning Group. Robert Gibbs is a leader in "New Urbanism", planning and commercial market research and is considered one of the foremost proponents of sustainable urban retail planning in the US. He has published books with titles like "New Urbanism & Beyond" and "Sustainable Urbanism". Lecture's for the Clinton LIbrary ...more
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 23, 13 6:05 AM
... key word here is " Urbanism" - that is the direction the town is heading, real fast, too.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Sep 23, 13 8:39 AM
More people . . .

More money . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 8:45 AM
Not sure, but what is the Southampton Associan's position on large commercial development in the villlage? Clearly they don't want new castles on the beach, but are they for or against another store?

The Village would be much more attractive with less traffic, and Village residents would not be going too far out of their way to drive to Magee St. & CR39.

Presently there are not a lot of other stores near the proposed grovery store, so at some point customers would have to ...more
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 1:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who is the Southampton Association and what exactly do they do? Do rich people even go into grocery stores?
By Masticator (6), southampton on Sep 26, 13 5:39 PM
Hmmmm I grew up in the village, when I was a kid there was Gristides, IGA, and A&P and my mom never shopped at any of them. She shopped at and continues to shop at King Kullen in Bridghampton. If she ran out of something she would go to A&P (Walbuams) or IGA. I doubt a King Kullen just outside of the villiage is going to change anyones shopping habits. Besides, a trip to the grocery store does not turn into a trip to the Michael Kors Store. Lets be real here, what retail stores in the village ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Sep 27, 13 3:39 PM