On May 6, I was provided with a eight-page Power Point summary of the market study that Consumer Comprehension LLC of New Jersey did for the Chelten Plaza site – 5 pages of large font text, one page of graphics, a cover and end sheet.
Site developer and Fresh Grocer owner Pat Burns has referred to this study as the primary reason he will not put a full service Fresh Grocer on the site, but thinks the smaller, limited service discount store called Save-A-Lot would be ideal.
NewsWorks was given the summary, which did not contain much data, on the condition that it did not print the summary in its entirety. During public discussion Burns and others from the Pulaski Partners development team refused to make the summary public citing proprietary information.
What follows is a summary of what was provided to me. I am confident my summary has cut out any proprietary information that may have been contained in the document provided to me, which is not also available in the public record, but that it still contains what would be pertinent to the public interest.
Therefore, I believe releasing the information below is in line with the conditions the development team placed on me as a privileged recipient of the document.
The study examined one question: whether to anchor the Chelten Plaza development with a Save-A-Lot or a Fresh Grocer.
The study appears to include a 1.5 mile radius from the store.
The population cited here was 69,400.
Median Household income cited was $37,100.
Median age: 35.
Average household size: 2.3
The document lists the median household income immediately surrounding the site (1/2 mile radius) as being $29,100 and rising to $37,100 moving away from the site.
The document cites “limited retail orientations” as a contributing factor to its conclusion but it does not appear to deal with this subject in the sections provided.
The document cites the La Salle Fresh Grocer as being “only” one and and half miles away.
The document does not appear to mention the existing Path Mark or Save-A-Lot on Wayne.
The study says the site’s “drawing power” is constrained by the close proximity of Fairmount Park and the industrial area of Hunting Park West.
The main factor driving the conclusion in the document is based on population density surrounding Chelten Plaza. The document says it is not nearly as dense as with other Fresh Grocers.
The population numbers cited are:
Chestnut / 56th location: 222,600
Progress Plaza (Temple): 202,500
Shoppes at LaSalle: 201,700
Chelten Plaza: 69,400
The study does not appear to mention the Fresh Grocer location at University of Pennsylvania.
The study does not make clear if the radius for measuring this population was the same distance of 1.5 miles.
The document concludes:
“Based on the light population density, the existing/ future competitive landscape (characterized by conventional supermarket operators), and the size and scope of the proposed development, the best use of this location would be to open / operate as a Save-A-Lot replacement facility…
A prototype Fresh Grocer unit would not achieve the type of sales volume required to sustain a level of profitability necessary at today’s rent / hard costs. This conclusion is derived, principally due to the referenced light population density and limited retail orientations.”
Correction: This is a corrected version of this article. The original version incorrectly represented some demographic information in the report. NewsWorks regrets the error.