Big Y Express Makes Its Debut

LEE, Mass. -- The first-ever Big Y Express store opened here on Route 20, off exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The new venture is a partnership between two long-established family-owned and -operated businesses based in western Massachusetts: regional grocer Big Y Foods Inc. and independent petroleum marketer F.L. Roberts & Co.

Located near a Big Y's World Class Market, the 2,000-square-foot Big Y Express incorporates new and unique retail design and merchandising trends, according to the Springfield, Mass.-based grocer. The concept features the traditional F.L. Roberts product mix, along with many Big Y proprietary private-brand products including grocery, snacks and freshly made ready-to-eat offerings such as sandwiches, hot dogs, fountain soda, coffee, pastries and fresh fruit.

Shoppers can use F.L. Roberts Rewards-PLUS loyalty cards and Big Y Silver Savings Club cards to receive gasoline and food discounts, and Big Y's Express Rewards silver and gold coins can be redeemed for cents off per gallon at the pump.

"We get the best of both worlds with our Big Y Express partnership," noted Big Y President and Chief Operating Officer Charles L. D'Amour. "On the one hand, we are learning about gas stations and convenience stores. On the other, we are providing our expertise in food, coupled with our strong private brand, to enhance the experience for our customers."

Steve Roberts, president of Springfield-based F.L. Roberts, added: "Two well-established companies have combined their expertise to help each other grow to better service our customers and communities."

At this time, it is unclear how many future Big Y Express locations will be opened and where.

Big Y operates 61 locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more than 10,000 employees. F.L. Roberts' network of almost 60 sites in Massachusetts and Connecticut consists of 26 convenience stores, 20 car washes, nine jiffy lubes, two truck-fueling centers and the Whately Diner.

The joint partnership was first announced in September.

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