Some info on the Route 8 rush hour crash from a few hours ago. http://t.co/gjPxN10zmd
Seymour, don't forget to brush your teeth AND VOTE TOMORROW. Tell them the Valley Indy sent ya. http://t.co/KQRCc67BgF
Panera Confirms Derby Location, Aldi Will Only Say ‘Viable Market’
by Eugene Driscoll | Feb 26, 2013 10:36 pm
Panera Bread officials said yes, they definitely want to open a restaurant on Derby’s Pershing Drive.
However, Aldi supermarket isn’t so sure — at least on the record.
Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri told the Valley Indy Feb. 19 that both businesses will be part of a redevelopment project proposed at the vacant site of the former Valley Bowl on Pershing Drive.
The property’s owner, Pershing Partners, LLC, submitted general plans with no tenant names to the Derby Planning and Zoning Commission Feb. 19.
Angie Greene-Hicks, a local marketing manager for Panera Bread, LLC, confirmed the Derby location in an e-mail to the Valley Indy.
“Yes, we just got approved for that site location, designs are still being worked on, but it will have a drive through,” she wrote.
Greene-Hicks said the goal is to have the Derby Panera Bread open in 2014.
But, while the Derby area is a “viable market,” the Aldi supermarket chain said there are no “defined plans” to open in Derby.
Aldi’s desire to open on Pershing Drive has been, perhaps, the worst-kept secret in Derby — or the most persistent rumor, according to official responses from Weber Shandwick, the Manhattan-based public relations firm representing the Aldi supermarket chain.
“As we’ve shared with you previously, we feel Derby is a viable market for ALDI. However, there are no defined plans for a store at this time,” Weber Shandwick’s Gabrielle Brewer said in an e-mail. “If that changes and plans develop for an ALDI in Derby, we will certainly update you.”
The Valley Indy left messages last week for Pershing Partners, LLC.
Sheila O’Malley, Derby’s economic development director, said Feb. 25 she has talked to people who work directly for Aldi’s.
The store is coming to Derby, O’Malley said.
“I am extremely confident they are coming to Derby,” O’Malley told the Valley Indy. “I’ve spoken to their real estate person and he’s told me so.”
She said the retailer and the property’s owner have an agreement in place. O’Malley assumed neither wants to publicly talk about the plans until all the details are hashed out.
“They like to do their own PR for any number of reasons,” she said.
Aldi is a discount grocery store with more than 1,000 locations in 31 states. The closest store is in Milford.
The German-based company is usually described as “no frills” in media reports. Customers rent carts for 25 cents and prices are usually less expensive than other grocery stores.
Panera Bread Co. is based in St. Louis. It has a cafe on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton, about 6 miles from Pershing Drive. The Derby cafe would be one of hundreds of restaurants the chain hopes to open in 2013.
The company just reported a 34 percent increase in profit in the fourth quarter compared to last year.
The Valley Bowl, a staple of family entertainment for decades, went out of business in July 2010. It was demolished in July 2012.
Here is the interview with the Derby mayor recorded Feb. 19.
I don’t believe Aldi would do best there. There are alternatives like the plaza in Ames Seymour or in Naugatuck’s Cross Street, and a higher market share. In derby, Aldi has Shoprite, BigY, Stop and Shop all within a few seconds of each other. Panera however is more unique despite all of the restaurants in the area, Panera has a higher brand name establishment, and will be one of the few end sit down franchised brand name restaurants in the area. Panera is great for families and business meetings and offers healthy alternative to food like McDonalds and Burger King or KFC which is great.