Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores

Updated June 11, 2018 - 7:27 pm

A food truck company will open its first store-within-a-store locations this month inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s locations.

Cousins Maine Lobster will sell lobster rolls, clam chowder, lobster tacos, frozen foods and other items from kiosks inside the grocery stores.

The two Smith’s locations are near the intersection of Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95 and near the intersection of Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Both stores will open Wednesday.

The Skye Canyon location will be the first local Smith’s to sell clothes and home goods in addition to food. The Durango Drive location will replace longtime independent grocer Glazier’s.

Cousins Maine Lobster, based in Saco, Maine, currently sells food outside various Smith’s stores in the Las Vegas area and at the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The Smith’s kiosks will be the first in-store offerings from the food truck company, which started in the U.S. in 2012 and brought trucks to the Las Vegas area in 2015.

For grocery stores, the appeal of stores within stores is more food options for shoppers, Smith’s spokeswoman Aubriana Martindale said.

This is the first year Smith’s has used third-party businesses other than Starbucks and sushi vendors for store-within-a-store offerings, Martindale said.

A tenant like Cousins adds to the offerings for shoppers who want to get something to eat right away, instead of buying the ingredients for a meal at home later.

“It is our goal to serve food through a variety of options that fit our customers’ needs,” Martindale said. “Partnering with culinary experts such as Cousins Maine Lobster allows us to meet expectations of current food trends within the convenience of our grocery stores.”

For Cousins, the new kiosks will provide more face time with Smith’s customers who don’t visit the downtown food truck or follow the changing route of the company’s other local truck, Cousins co-founder Jim Tselikis said.

The food truck industry has found benefits to having a stationary space inside shopping centers and places like airports, he said.

Austin-Bergstrom International in Texas gave a food truck space inside the airport this year, and Charlotte Douglas International in North Carolina has a pilot program to add food trucks to its restaurant mix.

With a store within a store, what the Cousins franchise owner saves in maintenance and gas costs for the food trucks can be put into payroll for an employee or two to work longer hours, Tselikis said.

“People like my father won’t track down a food truck,” he said. “And families are so busy when they go to the grocery store.”

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at 702-383-4602 or wmillward@reviewjournal.com. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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