Weavers Way Co-op announced on Friday that it has secured a five-year lease at 8426 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill, directly next to the co-op’s Chestnut Hill grocery store. The lease is set to start August 1. The store will focus on carrying health and wellness products and will open in early October.
The 950 square-foot building is owned by the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation and formerly housed the Chestnut Hill Welcome Center, which will be moving to Highland Avenue.
The expansion is part of the co-op’s five-year growth strategy, announced in late May.
Customers can expect the new store, to be called Weavers Way Next Door, to carry products similar to Weavers Way Across the Way in Mt. Airy, which was built as part of the co-op’s recent renovation project. Wellness product sales are up 22 percent at that store since the renovation was completed, according to the co-op’s chief financial officer, Michael McGeary.
Chestnut Hill store manager, Dean Stefano, said that while the Chestnut Hill grocery store’s wellness section does well, the wellness store is a long-time coming.
“It’s a very small section and we just don’t have a lot of things that we need,” Stefano said of the sixteen square-foot section just in front of the grocery store’s checkout. “We could have more essential oils, more homeopathy, more supplements, more bath products.”
Stefano said the current wellness section does well in sales but is inconveniently placed in front of the cash register where stores normally stock impulse buys.
The new building offers additional outdoor space and Stefano said he looks forward to installing a handicapped-accessible entrance and extra seating in the back of the co-op.
Stefano also said he hopes to have other amenities such as Wi-Fi access and extra event space. He noted that he hopes members are patient while waiting for the changes.
“We’re taking it in baby steps,” he said.