Fairway Market is an American grocery chain. Founded in 1933, it expanded in the New York area in the 21st century, with 15 grocery stores plus 4 liquor stores in the tri-state area as of August 2018. The flagship store remains at Broadway and West 74th Street, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Abel Porter (CEO)|
|Owner||Fairway Group Holdings Corp.|
Sale to private equity and bankruptcyEdit
Sterling Investment Partners, a private equity firm in Westport, Connecticut, bought a controlling stake in Fairway Market in January 2007 and committed to substantially expanding the chain in the Greater New York area. Sterling made a $150 million capital investment in Fairway and enabled the enterprise to grow rapidly.
In 2011, the chain had revenues of $550 million. It was spun off in an IPO on April 17, 2013, trading under its parent, Fairway Group Holdings Corp., on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "FWM".
On May 2, 2016, Fairway Markets filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after having lost money every quarter since it went public and unsuccessfully marketing itself to 60 potential buyers. It emerged from bankruptcy in July 2016 with new owners after exchanging half of its debt for ownership by a consortium of its lenders.
The original Fairway Market, at West 74th Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was a modest produce shop. By 1997, it had expanded with a café that served sandwiches, burgers, and breakfast, and became a steakhouse by night.
In 2011, Fairway opened two more locations: one on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which opened on July 20, and the other in the Douglaston neighborhood of Queens, New York, which opened on November 16. In 2012, Fairway Market opened three more locations: in Woodland Park, New Jersey on June 6; Westbury, New York on August 22; and Kips Bay in Manhattan in late December. In 2013, Fairway Market opened a location in Chelsea, Manhattan and another at The Shops at Nanuet shopping mall in Nanuet, New York.
The sequence of all stores is as follows:
- The flagship store, founded in the 1930s, still occupies the original Broadway location in the Upper West Side.
- In 1995, Fairway's Harlem store opened in a significantly larger space. This store has a 10,000-square-foot (930 m) enclosed space, the "Cold Room", which contains the store's meats, seafood, dairy products, and beer. Silver coats hang nearby for customers who wish to keep warm while browsing the freezer.
- In 2001, the company opened its first store outside the city in the Long Island community of Plainview.
- In 2006, it opened its fourth store in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
- Fairway's fifth store opened on March 25, 2009, in the Fashion Center shopping mall in suburban Paramus, New Jersey, taking up a majority of the mall's former interior space. This was the first Fairway store located west of the Hudson River and the first location ever to open in the entire state of New Jersey.
- On April 14, 2010, Fairway opened a new branch in a former Kmart in the Westchester County village of Pelham Manor, directly across the border with the Bronx. This became Fairway's third location in the New York City suburbs and sixth overall. Fairway opened its first Wine and Spirit store adjacent to the market. The second wine and spirit superstore was opened adjacent to the Stamford market.
- Fairway's seventh and largest location to date at over 80,000 square feet opened in November 2010 in Stamford, Connecticut.
- In 2011, Fairway opened a location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on 86th Street, between Second and Third Avenues.
- Fairway also opened a location in Douglaston, Queens in 2011.
- In June 2012, Fairway opened its tenth food store and third Wine and Spirits Store in Woodland Park, New Jersey, in a renovated former Pathmark Super Center store.
- Fairway Market opened a 68,000-square-foot store in the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury in August 2012.
- In December 2012, Fairway opened their Kips Bay, Manhattan location on East 30th Street and Second Avenue.
- Fairway Market opened their 13th store in Chelsea, Manhattan at Sixth Avenue on July 24, 2013.
- Fairway opened their 14th store in Nanuet, New York, at The Shops at Nanuet mall on October 10, 2013.
- Fairway Market opened a store in the DSW Plaza in Lake Grove, New York on July 23, 2014. This store was the first Fairway Market location in Suffolk County on Long Island and the 15th food store in the metropolitan area. However, after only two years, they closed the store.
Community involvement and environmental effortsEdit
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Fairway also has a history of donating food during the holidays. Every year during Thanksgiving, Fairway has made it a tradition to give a happy holiday to those less fortunate. All Fairway locations donate food to shelters and food banks including turkeys and side dishes.
Additionally, Fairway Market has had a longstanding commitment to firefighters, and in the months following 9/11, adopted local firehouses, supplying them with food throughout the rescue and recovery and clean-up efforts. Fairway also hosts annual Firefighter Food Face-Off events where firefighters can compete against one another in a grilling competition where the winning team wins a gift card to shop at Fairway for their firehouse and hosts a Shopping Night in honor of the winning firefighters where a percentage of proceeds are donated to a charity of their choice.
Fairway Market has also hosted Shopping Nights for other organizations, such as one it hosted in October 2011 for St. Luke's LifeWorks, in Connecticut, during which 25 percent of all sales were donated to this social service non-profit agency that aids the homeless in Lower Fairfield County.
Fairway Market kept its stores open and delivered food and cleaning supplies to people in need during Superstorm Sandy. Fairway Market donated $30,000 to ReStore Red Hook, a non-profit group dedicated to the recovery of small businesses forced to close after Sandy ravaged the neighborhood in October.
Fairway Market was the Hospitality Partner at Macy's 37(th) Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show on July 4, 2013. Thousands of guests invited by Macy's enjoyed dinner, drinks and dessert provided by Fairway and watched the fireworks display on the Westside of Manhattan.
Fairway's Red Hook store's was awarded the U.S. government's ENERGY STAR CHP Award for its conservation efforts. Fairway Market's stores use Energy Star qualified fixtures and equipment. The lighting in the stores is energy efficient, and the heat generated by Fairway's refrigeration and freezer units is reclaimed to heat the stores’ aisles and hot water. Fairway also uses waste-to-water technology as part of its waste decomposition system to eliminate the hauling of solids to landfills. Most of the products shipped to Fairway use 100% recyclable corrugated materials and nearly all are stacked on 100% recycled pallets. Cleaning and maintenance supplies that are DfE certified, which is the EPA's Design for the Environment program, are used in part at the stores and its facilities, and they're purchased in concentrated form to avoid excess packaging. Fairway's Stamford store is in a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.
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