Big Y Express Poised to Expand

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Eight months after opening the first Big Y Express convenience store, regional grocer Big Y Foods Inc. and independent petroleum marketer F.L. Roberts & Co. Inc. are making plans to expand their concept with a second location. 

The family-owned, Springfield, Mass.-based companies want to duplicate the success of the first food and fuel business they opened together in Lee, Mass., in December, according to The Berkshire Eagle.

"I think it's going well ... it has exceeded our expectations," Frank Roberts, vice president of wholesale for F.L. Roberts, said of the first Big Y Express store.

The companies are currently in the process of obtaining local approval to open the second Big Y Express store in Pittsfield, next to an existing Big Y supermarket on West Street.

This week, the Pittsfield Community Development Board approved the site plan and recommended the city council support a special permit for the project, the news outlet reported. If the council backs the permit request at its Sept. 2 meeting, the proposal will return to the development board for final approval.

The 1,500-square-foot convenience store would be built on a vacant lot at 202 West St. Big Y bought the half-acre parcel in 2012 initially to expand its supermarket parking and allow delivery trucks better access to the loading docks, according to the report.

The similarities between this site and the site of the first Big Y Express store are concept and proximity. As in Lee, F.L. Roberts will be the operating partner and fuel supplier, while Big Y will provide snack, grocery and ready-to-eat items, along with many of its private-label products.

The Lee store is also around the corner from a Big Y supermarket.

"They being adjacent [to the supermarkets] is very important as it allows us to tie in promotions and specials with both," Peter Smith, Big Y's project manager, told the news outlet.

In addition to Big Y Express, Big Y operates 60 stores throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. F.L. Roberts operates a series of convenience stores, Jiffy Lubes, car washes and truck refueling stations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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