When Hy-Vee announced last year that it plans to add eight supermarkets in the Twin Cities (two have already opened), consumers salivated at the thought of a reinvigorated supermarket scene. After Rainbow closed or sold its 27 stores in 2014, things looked less competitive. 

But now commercial real estate developers say that three more supermarket chains are looking for locations in the Twin Cities -- Meijer, Lucky's Market and 365 by Whole Foods.

Michigan-based Meijer, whose gargantuan stores outsize a SuperTarget, is supposedly considering four suburban sites. Meijer claims to be a one-stop shop with a major grocery component together with other departments found in a Target or Wal-Mart. Meijer has more than 220 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and eastern Wisconsin. Cushman &  Wakefield NorthMarq director Deb Carlson said, "General chatter is they are looking, but not projecting any openings for at least a couple of years."

Colorado-based Lucky's Markets, already in 11 states, is also considering the Twin Cities. Similar to Fresh Thyme, which had its Minnesota debut in Bloomington last year, Lucky's looks like a co-op but is slightly larger. 

Whole Foods isn't new to the Twin Cities, but its smaller concept called "365" would be. The compact version of its stores will debut in three locations this year in California and Texas, but up to 10 more are expected around the country in 2017. Although Whole Foods' reps are scouting the Twin Cities, nothing is confirmed yet. What is known is that a new full-line Whole Foods store will open in Woodbury in 2017 and a larger St. Paul store will move to Snelling and Selby this year.

Discount grocer Aldi will open 5 new stores in 2016, Fresh Thyme will open stores in Apple Valley and St. Louis Park this year. Trader Joe's opens a new downtown Minneapolis location in 2017.

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