First Look: Giant Co. opens two-level urban flagship in Philadelphia

Marianne Wilson
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The Giant Company has gone big in Philadelphia, opening a store with a dazzling array of services and amenities that are designed to meet the needs and tastes of urban dwellers. 

Located in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, the 65,000-sq.-ft., two-level store is located on the second floor of a 25-floor residential tower at PMC Property Group’s new Riverwalk mixed-use development. It features on-site parking with curbside pick-up spots, a food hall, a self-serve tap wall, an outdoor terrace and the grocer’s largest plant-based section to date. Other features include a VIP elevator for apartment residents and electric vehicle charging.

“Philadelphia’s grocery scene is experiencing a major renaissance and The Giant Company has been at the forefront, introducing new formats, opening new stores, and expanding grocery delivery services,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The Giant Company, which is part of Ahold Delhaize USA. “Our Riverwalk store celebrates this transformation, offering an elevated omnichannel grocery experience unlike anything Philadelphia has ever seen “

Designed by Columbus, Ohio-based Chute Gerdeman, Giant at Riverwalk incorporates design elements inspired by the company’s heritage as well as its Heirloom Market format, with wood elements and its signature colors of red and black. 

To make it easier for customers and employees to shop and work, there is a ground-level parking garage with direct access to the store’s lobby. The lobby, which is accented by the work of local artists, includes a full-size Starbucks and a pickup station for Giant orders placed online.

Customers can take an elevator, escalator or stairs to reach the store on the second level. A dedicated “cartalator” safely transports shopping carts between levels.  Residents of the living space above the store have exclusive access to a private elevator that brings them directly from their apartment to the sales floor.

Food Hall
One of the store’s central elements is a food hall that features offerings from a variety of local establishments. With a focus on fresh, the “food-forward” space offers everything from creative, high-quality Mexican cuisine to responsibly sourced, premium sushi to made-to-order sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, smoked meats, hot foods, and gelato.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, the food hall is bathed in natural light and has a spacious seating area overlooking the Schuylkill River, 30th Street Station and the riverside bike path. Customers can also take their food and drink from the food hall out to a terrace, complete with lounge-style furniture and fire pits.

“Our Riverwalk store is the perfect blend of modern sophistication and surprise, and of course, pays homage to the city’s fantastic food scene,” added Bertram.

Other features of the store are below:

• With 600 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including many from local farms, the company’s signature produce department was designed to inspire shoppers to discover new ingredients and create healthy meals at home.

• In response to the growing demand for meat-free alternatives, the Riverwalk store will feature the company’s largest plant-based section to date, with meat and fish substitutes, vegan cheeses, ice creams and other desserts.

• A full-service meat and seafood department includes a newly introduced aged beef program with steakhouse quality cuts aged in-house for up to 42 days. The store will also offer a wide range of fresh, sustainably sourced seafood.

• A large cheese section will include plus selections from Philabundance’s Abundantly Good cheese label that helps support dairy farmers in the commonwealth. Customers will be able to receive food and wine pairing recommendations.

• A full-service deli includes a charcuterie station and a mozzarella station.

• A robust beer and wine collection, the largest in the company’s footprint. The store will also feature a Beer Garden, complete with a self-serve tap wall offering more than 40 craft beers, wines, hard seltzer, cider and kombucha.

The new Giant will also carry health and beauty, personal and family care products, natural and organic items, pet food and supplies, household essentials and seasonal items. 

The new Riverwalk Giant is the company’s fifth location to open in Philadelphia, joining its Grant Avenue Giant and three Giants Heirloom Markets. These stores, along with the recently announced Cottman Avenue project and the company’s Island Avenue e-commerce fulfillment center slated to open in November, bring the company’s total capex investment in the city to more than $106 million.