Market District(TM) From Giant Eagle(R) Introduces a New World of Food With Concept Stores in Pittsburgh

Regional Destination Stores Put the 'Oooo' in Food

Jun 29, 2006, 01:00 ET from Giant Eagle, Inc.

    PITTSBURGH, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The launch of two Market
 District(TM) stores is being announced today as a new concept from
 Pittsburgh-based supermarket retailer Giant Eagle(R), Inc. The Market
 District store concept embodies a culinary destination for food aficionados
 paired with the convenience of a full service market. The first two stores
 open officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on June 29.
 The stores, located at 7000 Oxford Drive in Pittsburgh's South Hills region
 and 5550 Centre Avenue in the city's Shadyside neighborhood, are expected
 to draw customers from nearby Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia regions.
     (Photo: )
     The Market District concept was developed to appeal to food
 enthusiasts, those who enjoy taking part in and learning about the sight,
 smell and taste of the exciting world of food. The stores are the perfect
 choice for those passionate about food, and feature a wide array of freshly
 prepared foods made in-store every day. The Market District stores
 simultaneously satisfy the customer need for a full weekly shopping trip.
 In a single location, customers can purchase unique, fresh and specialty
 items alongside mainstream national brands while enjoying
 convenience-oriented services such as pharmacy, photo development and dry
     The two Market District stores offer numerous opportunities to discover
 the "oooo" in food:
     * A Brazilian-style churrasco featuring meats and vegetables fire-roasted
       to lock in sumptuous flavor;
     * The finest in charcuterie showcasing domestic and imported cured meats
       from countries such as Italy and Spain, and unique products such as
       Saucisson pork from the mountains of France;
     * A 500 item Kosher section and deli created with the guidance of rabbis
       and offering popular brands like Empire Kosher, Kedem, and Aaron's, as
       well as Tnuva and other popular Israeli brands;
     * A cheese department and cheese cave with more than 400 domestic and
       imported choices from regions around the globe, such as French Morbier,
       Rembrandt Aged Gouda from Holland and Royal Windsor from England;
     * A traditional pizza oven, sushi bar and authentic Italian creations
       including fresh mozzarella and pasta, and pasta sauces made from
     * A fresh fruit smoothie bar and coffee roasting station where green
       coffee beans are roasted daily and brewed to perfection;
     * Nearly 5,000 specialty food and beverage products from 19
       countries/regions around the world including Africa, India, Poland,
       England and Asia, and more than 4,000 natural, organic and gluten-free
     * An in-store bakery where bakers use traditional baking methods,
       authentic ingredients and a Bongard hearth oven from France to produce
       the best in pastries, pies and cakes, specialty desserts and more than
       20 organic and artisan breads;
     * A full-service meat and seafood department presenting hundreds of
       traditional favorites in addition to hard-to-find selections such as
       rabbit, venison, quail and buffalo;
     * A bountiful produce department with 500 varieties and unusual selections
       such as cippolini onions, cactus pears, exotic herbs and approximately
       120 organic fruits and vegetables;
     * A chef demonstration station where culinary experts showcase products
       from across the store, along with easy instructions for home
     * An ongoing schedule of in-store events to entertain and educate
       shoppers, including cooking demonstrations from resident chefs,
       celebrity chef appearances, book signings, and live music and free Wi-Fi
       access in the Market District Caf�;
     * In comparison to the 68,000 square foot Shadyside store, the larger size
       of the 117,000 square foot South Hills location allows for additional
       offerings, including a baby section, toy section, office products and
       housewares, bulk foods and spices and a candy rotunda featuring freshly
       made fudge and chocolate bark as well as chocolates from the acclaimed
       Belgian chocolatier Leonidas.
     "The Market District concept is not just another food store," said
 Kevin Srigley, Senior Vice President, Market District. "The stores welcome
 customers to a new world of food, with unique meat, produce, cheese and
 grocery selections from around the globe, selected by our dedicated staff.
 The stores have an open-air market feeling with an amazing array of
 specialty items, natural and organic products, exotic spices, artisan
 breads, and a wealth of fresh meat, seafood, and produce selections that
 are anything but ordinary."
     Srigley added, "But Market District also satisfies customer needs for a
 full weekly shop. While customers can find unique items not available
 elsewhere, they also can purchase everyday items like national brand
 detergent and popular beverages under the same roof, priced comparably with
 Giant Eagle supermarkets."
     Market District is the place for food enthusiasts, but the brand's tie
 to Giant Eagle is not forgotten. Market District features the attractive
 promotions, weekly specials and pricing, and the ability to purchase gift
 cards for popular retailers and earn fuelperks!(R) loyalty rewards with the
 Giant Eagle Advantage Card(R).
     A new world of food knowledge and service from trained professionals
     The unique combination of food enthusiasm and a complete shopping
 experience is only a part of the Market District story. Srigley said that
 the 300 employees at the Shadyside location and the 500 employees at the
 South Hills store are yet another point of difference. More than 50 chefs,
 bakers and food professionals are on hand throughout the store to share
 their knowledge. Graduates from the Culinary Institute of America, the
 Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, and the Bidwell Training Center are
 working in various roles in the Market District stores. In addition, a
 number of culinary students are conducting externships at the two
 locations. Certified Cheesemongers, trained employees who have become
 cheese experts, also add to the experience. On-going employee training
 includes how products are made, quality of ingredients, country of origin,
 and recipe and product usage suggestions.
     "Our food training is extensive," said Srigley. "Our people experience
 food from producers located all over the world, from small farmhouses to
 large suppliers. They then utilize this knowledge to help satisfy the
 culinary curiosity of our customers.
     "Importantly, we also spend a significant amount of time training on
 superior customer service. We aim to deliver a food experience that is
 second to none," he added.
     Retail theater that creates a personal experience
     In addition to many unique food experiences, Market District offers
 shoppers the opportunity to enjoy educational classes and demonstrations
 throughout the year. A chef demonstration cooking area in the heart of
 store and an open presentation area for prepared foods enables Market
 District chefs and food specialists to actively engage customers.
     For example, seasonally-appropriate classes will teach customers how to
 prepare a cheese board and make holiday centerpieces, and year-round,
 customers will be able to watch coffee being roasted, sushi being prepared,
 and pasta made fresh daily in the store.
     "We want customers to enjoy a fresh food shopping experience bursting
 with how-tos, how-longs, which-kinds, and we-did-it-for-yous," concluded
     During the coming weeks, customers will have the opportunity to meet
 food celebrities like Thai food specialist Naam Pruitt, author of
 Lemongrass and Limes on July 1; Sara Moulton, the executive chef of Gourmet
 magazine and host of Sara's Secrets on The Food Network on July 15; Rick
 Bayless, host of the PBS television series Cooking Mexican, a contemporary
 regional Mexican cooking program on July 20; PBS Television host Katie
 Brown who provides easy and affordable advice on food preparation/
 presentation and casual entertaining on August 19; and Joan Nathan, author
 and PBS host of Jewish Cooking in America on September 12 and 13.
     Beginning June 29, the grand opening celebrations kick off with
 in-store events and food sampling, local chef demonstrations, community
 activities, and sweepstakes throughout the month of July.
     About Giant Eagle Market District
     The Giant Eagle Market District destination store concept offers an
 enhanced food shopping experience geared toward food enthusiasts. Market
 District offers specialty and unique items not found elsewhere in an
 environment where customers' passion for food can be cultivated by a staff
 of food experts. In two locations in the southwestern Pennsylvania region,
 the Market District stores feature teams of chefs and other culinary
 professionals preparing fresh foods from scratch every day. Market District
 also offers customers the rare opportunity to find natural, organic,
 specialty and other unique items paired with the convenience of favorite
 national brands and everyday needs all under the same roof. Further
 information can be found at
     Giant Eagle, Inc., ranked 34 on Forbes magazine's largest private
 corporations list is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food
 distributors with approximately $5.5 billion in annual sales. Giant Eagle
 has 216 supermarkets in addition to more than 100 fuel and convenience
 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia
 and Maryland.

SOURCE Giant Eagle, Inc.