Harp's Continues Roll Out of New Grocery Stores

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Apr. 2, 2012 12:00 am  

Harps Food Stores Inc. of Springdale is doing prep work for a possible new store in West Fork (Washington County) as part of an aggressive expansion effort.

J. Max Van Hoose, Harps' vice president of store planning, said the company had some property under contract on Highway 176, east of Interstate 540 near the school complex, and was gathering information to present to the city's planning commission.

Van Hoose said the West Fork project likely would have about 32,000 SF under roof, similar in size to the company's other northwest Arkansas stores.

As for why Harps is looking at a West Fork location, Van Hoose said simply: "We're always looking for areas to grow. Northwest Arkansas is growing, and that includes West Fork."

Employee-owned Harps has 65 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

The company opened a Jonesboro store in January and will open another outside Joplin this month. A Bald Knob location will open in May, and a store in Grove, Okla., will open in June to replace an existing facility.

The grocery chain also expects to start work on a new store in Elkins (Washington County) in coming months that also will replace an existing store. The company anticipates putting a new store in Haskell (Saline County), although it hasn't finalized purchase of the property, Van Hoose said.

Harps is a regular on Arkansas Business' annual list of the state's largest private companies. The company reported $550 million in annual sales in the fiscal year that ended Aug. 28, up more than 6 percent over the previous year.



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