A new grocery store is coming. But which one?

A stock image showing the exterior of an Aldi grocery store. [Courtesy of Aldi]
A stock image showing the exterior of an Aldi grocery store. [Courtesy of Aldi]

If there’s anything Maricopans want more than a quick solution to traffic woes, it’s a new grocery store.

And their prayers were answered when we reported last week the developer behind Lowe’s Home Improvement confirmed plans to open a grocery store later this year in the same plaza.

Phoenix-based Thompson Thrift said last week it will begin construction on South Bridge Marketplace in April. Readers went wild speculating which grocery store could enter the space after the news broke.

Unfortunately, there is no confirmation available about the grocery store. A spokesperson for Thompson Thrift did not respond to a request for comment and a Freedom of Information Act request for city records did not provide any new information.

But the developer has a history of working with the same few grocers in years past and touts them in its portfolio.

Repeat customers

Thompson Thrift has continuously worked with four grocery stores in the past: Sprouts Farmers Market, Aldi, Publix and Earth Fare, according to its website.

The developer brought Sprouts to Sonoran Creek Marketplace on John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road in 2021, adding a third stand-alone grocery store to Maricopa.

And while Publix and Earth Fare have not expanded operations outside southeastern states, the German-owned Aldi opened its first Arizona stores in 2020.

A good fit?

In addition to the hardware store anchor, the South Bridge Marketplace will feature three larger retail spaces ranging in size from 10,000 to 24,000 square feet. At least one of these is slated to become a grocery store, according to a press release last week.

According to its corporate website, Aldi would require at least 22,000 square feet of property space as well as 95 parking spaces. The average Aldi store is 18,000 square feet, according to its corporate website.

Seems like a good fit.

Could other small grocery stores fit the space?

Looking at national retailers, Whole Foods likes 25,000 to 50,000 square feet of space and the average Trader Joe’s measures about 15,000 square feet.

Meanwhile, AJ’s Fine Foods locations have ranged from 18,000 to 30,000 square feet, according to the East Valley Tribune.