Is Whole Foods looking to open one or more new stores in the Hudson Valley?

In the past few years, we've seen some big companies move out of the Hudson Valley, leaving behind large, abandoned buildings. Empty K-Mart, Sears and Toys R Us stores have had residents wondering if these empty buildings could see new life.

There had been rumors that Trader Joe's was eyeing up the K-Mart at the South Hills Mall and then the Toys R Us store in Poughkeepsie. Both of those projects didn't pan out. Instead, Burlington Coat Factory is currently planning a move to the Route 9 Toys R Us this summer.

Now there is some encouraging news for those empty Kmart stores scattered throughout the Hudson Valley. With vacant stores in high-traffic locations like the City of Poughkeepsie, the South Hills Mall, Middletown and New Windsor it looks like there may be some interest from one of the biggest companies in the world. A report this week hints that Amazon may be very interested in bringing Whole Foods or a lower-priced version of their supermarket chain to our area.

A. Boris

This week CNN uncovered a research report that details a plan for Amazon, owner of Whole Foods, to take over hundreds of abandoned former Kmart and Sears locations. The report from BMO Capital Markets claims that this would be the quickest and cheapest way for Amazon to increase their footprint and launch their new supermarket model in places like the Hudson Valley.

Whole Foods caters to more high-end clientele. Selling expensive items like asparagus-infused water and gourmet meats and cheeses, the grocery chain may not be a perfect fit for most of the areas where empty Kmart stores are currently located in the Hudson Valley. Instead, Amazon may opt to launch a lower-priced version of the grocery chain targeted to middle-class shoppers in our area.

While all of this is speculation at this point, it's clear that people see lots of potential in vacant Kmart and Sears stores like the ones currently sitting emptly in the Hudson Valley. Hopefully, it's only a matter of time before someone decides to take them over.

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