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Posted by Paula C. Squires on 7/14/2016 on Virginia Business

In recent years, as major department stores have faltered as a result of increased online shopping, the grocery store has grown in demand as an anchor tenant.

All across Virginia, higher-end grocery stores, including Kroger, Wegmans, Whole Foods and now Publix, are sought out as tenants in mixed-use projects. As a result, these supermarket chains are investing millions to open new stores and renovate old ones.

Not only do they help generate traffic at retail centers, grocery stores also haven’t been as hard hit by internet shopping as department stores have.

“They help develop shopping patterns, which also helps other merchants,” says Connie Jordan Nielsen, a senior vice president and retail specialist for Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer in Richmond. “Say the UPS store is next to a Kroger where a shopper goes three times as week, and they need something from UPS. Chances are they will stop at that one as opposed to someplace where the shopper might go every couple of months.”

From a development standpoint, grocery stores are a home run, agrees Carl F. Blackwell, a senior vice president with Commonwealth Commercial Partners in Henrico County. “They bring cars to the parking lot, and that’s what the other tenants want. “

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