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Grocers shopping for retail space in N.J.

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New supermarket chains are looking to enter New Jersey while grocers that have long served the state are relocating and repositioning their stores, according to Chuck Lanyard, president of the Goldstein Group, a retail real estate brokerage firm.

"We're seeing a competitive atmosphere as the supermarket companies are looking to find locations," Lanyard said.

"We're in negotiations with several grocers as they're looking to expand their footprints from smaller locations or find new locations."

Store closing in recent years have created vacancies that open the door for other supermarkets, he said, enabling Fairway, Wegmans, Whole Foods and Fresh Market to expand in New Jersey while independent operators have found niche locations.

For example, Wegmans super stores, with over 120,000 square feet, is looking to add locations in Montvale and Hanover, he said. According to the Goldstein Group, store closings by Pathmark, A&P and other big box locations are enabling supermarkets to secure good, well populated locations throughout the area.

The Goldstein Group represents more than 50 national and regional retailers.

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