Landis Markets’ Harleysville PA store, and its corporate logo
SANATOGA PA – Members of the Landis family, who constitute the administrative team charged with the re-opening later this spring of a new supermarket in the former Sanatoga Thriftway store, hope their company’s major commitment in Lower Pottsgrove prompts other businesses to follow their lead, its vice president says.
Landis Supermarket Inc. has signed a 10-year lease to occupy the building at 2190 E. High St. in the Sanatoga Village shopping center, Vice President Scott Landis acknowledged. “We want to be a catalyst” in the township’s growth, he said in a recent interview.
There are indications that hope may already have found its feet. Several sources, ranging from township officials who don’t wish to be identified to merchants who also have businesses lining East High, say there is more than passing interest that’s been expressed by a retailer in occupying the former K-Mart building in the plaza.
The prospect, whose name is being withheld by The Post because such negotiations are sensitive, operates in several other locations across Montgomery County. Landis declined comment on a tenant for K-Mart, other than to say “we understand there’s movement potentially in that area.”
The closing of K-Mart in September 2014 was cited by Thriftway’s former operators, the DeLorenzo family, as a major cause of lost walk-in traffic that eventually led to the closing of Thriftway itself almost a year later. Scott Landis admitted K-Mart’s departure “was a tough blow, one we took very seriously” as his company evaluated the value of the Sanatoga location.
‘Earn Back The Business’
Eventually, though, Landis Markets’ review of the trading area’s demographics, vehicle usage statistics and other factors convinced management of the township’s potential. It helped, Scott Landis added, that the building itself was in “very decent shape,” for which he credited the DeLorenzos.
Thriftway’s operators “obviously took care” of their store and its equipment,” Landis added. “We need only modest improvements to open,” he said. “Things like the shelving, the systems, the refrigerators … they’re all in good order.”
The Landis organization and its more than 600 employees are “confident” the Sanatoga location will be a good fit to complement the company’s four other sites, the vice president said, but getting rolling won’t be a cakewalk. “We recognize we must earn back the business, and we’re prepared to do that,” Scott Landis added. “Giving back to the community,” in part by setting an example that entices other employers to look here, “is a key part of our mission.”
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Photo and graphic from Yelp.com