07/10/13 — Getting ready to open

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Getting ready to open

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on July 10, 2013 1:46 PM

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Litza Bowen, front, and JerZee Caro stock shelves on an aisle in the health and beauty section in preparation for the grand opening of the new Harris Teeter store. They are part of the setup team, which is scanning in products, stocking shelves and pricing to ensure that the store is ready for the public on July 31.

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Harris Teeter at 2120 Wayne Memorial Drive will hold a grand opening on July 31. The store will feature a drive-through pharmacy, online shopping service, prepared food area and a state of the art cooling system for meat and seafood.

Harris Teeter stockers are busy getting products on the shelves as final preparations begin for opening day at the area's newest grocery store.

Construction on the 53,000-square-foot facility began in the fall of 2012, with the first business day scheduled for July 31 -- just three weeks from today. A public ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned at the Wayne Memorial Drive store at 8 a.m.

Harris Teeter decided to come to Goldsboro after considering a variety of factors, but the new development along the U.S. 70 site was an attraction, said Danna Jones, a communications specialist with the grocery chain.

"Our decisions to build or maintain stores are never based on one thing but rather a variety of factors including size and configuration of sites, existing and future traffic patterns, the proximity of existing Harris Teeter locations, and other economic considerations including residential growth," Ms. Jones said. "Pertaining to our new location in Goldsboro, we saw, with the development of Memorial Commons, a great opportunity to enter this market."

Shoppers will find a variety of new offerings at the store.

The Goldsboro location will offer fresh meat and seafood at its butcher's and fisherman's markets. The fisherman's market will have a selection of weekly fresh-catch items, as well as wild caught and organic seafood.

"Our butcher's market offers everything from organic chicken to prepared ready-to-cook steaks and burgers," Ms. Jones said. "Our fresh meat experts will help with selection, offer preparation and cooking tips, as well as recipes."

The store also will offer a variety of locally sourced foods.

"Sourcing locally is important for both the local economy and the environment," Ms. Jones said. "The company has built a locally grown program whereby customers can look for local, regional or global signs throughout our stores."

The farmer's market in the Goldsboro location will have locally grown produce sourced from throughout the state. Regionally grown is defined as produce grown outside of the store's state, but which has traveled less than six hours from farm to store, Ms. Jones said.

A chef-prepared food section is also planned and will feature meals-to-go prepared by in-house chefs.

The store's full-service pharmacy promises rapid service and accepts prescriptions from any doctor's office, along with all major insurance plans. With a valid VIC card, the chain's shoppers' reward program, customers will receive a 10 percent discount on pharmacy items.

It offers drive-up service as well.

"We also offer $3.99 and $9.99 generics, free diabetic generics, free 14-day supply of antibiotics and a 15-minute prescription guarantee," Ms. Jones said. "When a shopper drops off their prescription in-store, if it is not filled within 15 minutes or less, that shopper will receive a $5 coupon."

The company also plans to be active in the community, Ms. Jones added.

"We work hard to weave Harris Teeter into the fabric of the communities we serve," she said. "We are excited about getting to know our customers in Goldsboro as well as establishing a new relationship with the community."

The store has currently employed 105 associates.

Harris Teeter is headquartered in Matthews, and is the 23rd largest supermarket in the United States, with 2011 sales reaching over $4 billion. The grocery store chain was recently bought by Kroger in an all-cash buyout worth $2.4 billion and employs approximately 25,000 associates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.