OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Radley’s Market is Hannaford’s newest independent retailer, but it is holding onto its old motto: “Friendliest Store in Town.”

The market opened Sunday as Radley’s Shop ‘n Save Supermarket, with a new sign, a new facade and updated checkout lanes.

Throughout the fall, changes have been made to the store as part of Ed Radley’s decision to become a wholesale customer of Hannaford. A few more changes to the layout of the store will be made this week to reflect the new partnership, Radley said.

“I had a few years of flat growth,” he said, explaining his decision back in July to affiliate with Hannaford. “It’s a way for me to secure my future.”

Radley said he was tired of hearing customers tell him that they shopped at his market for meat but went elsewhere for the rest of their groceries. With products priced 25 percent less than before, Radley hopes more customers will do all of their grocery shopping in his market.

The relationship with Hannaford allows Radley to continue running the market as he has since he took it over from his father in 1998.

“We’re not changing that at all,” he said, adding that the butcher shop will still provide the service his customers are used to getting.

Radley’s grandfather opened the market on Main Street in 1945. The market moved to its current location on Cascade Road in 1964. Radley hopes his decision to join with Hannaford will enable his two sons, ages 8 and 12, to become the fourth generation to run the market.

So far, Radley said, he has received positive feedback from customers. He also has had to reassure some that Radley’s will not suffer the fate of the Garden Street Market in Kennebunk. That wholesale customer of Hannaford closed this year, after it was bought out by the company.

Radley said the Garden Street Market closed because its owner wanted to retire. But at age 39, Radley isn’t ready for that.

Hannaford, a subsidiary of the Belgium-based Delhaize Group, is based in Scarborough. It has 56 supermarkets in Maine and 121 in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont.

Hannaford also has agreements with 25 independent retailers in Maine, most of them in northern areas, said Matt Paul, a spokesman for the company.

“These independent arrangements are mutually beneficial. We have the capacity to supply these stores,” Paul said, and “being able to buy Hannaford products in all those stores is good for the consumer.”

Most shoppers are unaware that local, independent markets have partnerships with Hannaford or any other large retailers, said Shelley Doak, executive director of the Maine Grocers Association.

She said there are more than 350 independent grocers in Maine, most in island, coastal and other rural communities. Many have been family-owned and operated for generations, she said.

With longevity in their communities, customer loyalty and innovative thinking, independent grocers have successfully maintained their market share over the years, Doak said.

“I think they’re taking advantage of technology,” she said. “They know how they did business five, 10, even 15 years ago isn’t how they are doing business today or in the future.”

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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