Monday, March 20, 2017

Gas discounts

Even across the seaway from HQ isn't this high!
Many chains around the country have offered gas discounts for several years now.  Some have their own brand like Tops shown here, while others partner with a third party, as some of Tops' former sister chains use Shell (which left Syracuse decades ago) if not have their own (like Martins).  Price Chopper was one of the first in Upstate NY to have a program in collaboration with participating Sunocos.  Valero had one each at Strupplers and Village Market IGA in Oswego County until both became Tops in the past couple years.  In the Hudson Valley where Tops have grown south of former Grand Unions they acquired, they bought some of their ex-sister chains stores after they merged with another from Europe because of overlap and FTC regulations, and there shoppers save on gift cards to be used at area Shell, Irving (I don't even see these in their native Canada when I go, and doing the math with metric measurements, it costs much more), BP (left Syracuse along with their sisters Arco and Amoco) and Gulf (recently back in CNY) stations.  Tops in my neck of the woods and Price Chopper in theirs let customers who don't drive use points to save on bus passes so they don't go to waste if they don't have access to someone elses vehicle, but it only makes sense if you live there.  Someone in Hannafords ad said that the discounts barely make a dent (they don't even believe in a card).  ShopRite have it in a different way and I've seen it as they recently returned to Albany County (never knew they were there in the past as I heard of them from downstate and went down the river later).  Various other chains and indies nationwide will have a promotion somewhere.  Tops let you earn more points with manufacturers' coupons while Price Choppers kiosks will provide a store one to use when you spend a certain amount.  With the latter I try to get at least 20¢ off a gallon.  At Speedway it takes a few months just to even get to 10¢ off but I keep at it until I reach it.  Back at Tops, at the end of an earning cycle, there's a two-week hiatus, and you have to use the remaining 100s of points or they will be wiped at the start of the next period.  Back at the starting gate.
Prices fluctuate between events overseas and the economy.  Another rise is inevitable, but at least there's a way to keep the price down a little.  On the west coast, they could use this even more.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Woolworth, 5ème rue, Shawinigan, années 60
Québecois store in the late '60s
Since Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Dollarama (Canada), Five Below, even Ben Franklin in some small towns, and several indie variety stores like 99¢ City and Real Deals are alive and well, then there's almost no reason why trailblazers Woolworths are not in this country anymore as it's been for these past two decades.  Many say Walmart and the like are to blame.  Foot Locker are the legal successor to the original chain.  Existing and defunct chains in the Commonwealth are not related (Canadian chains were replaced by The Bargain! Shop [some stores like Ft Erie and Gananoque, ONT closed] and Walmart [Woolco absorbed in 1994]).  FL could own the revived chain or at least licence the name if it came down to that.  Here's where Woolworths 2.0 could be today:

Manlius - former CVS/pharmacy, NY 173
Elbridge - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Auburn - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Canastota - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Watertown - Paddock Arcade, NY 3 (not far from where early store was as it's a small town)
New Hartford - former Tuesday Morning, former NY 5/8/12
Fulton - former Eckerd/Fays/Rite Aid, NY 481
Oswego - former Dollar Tree, NY 104
Cicero - former Cicis Pizza, Circle Drive
North Syracuse, former Media Play, US 11
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, former Fays, NY 13
deWitt - Shoppingtown Mall (former site unavailable but many others are), NY 5
Rotterdam - Viaport, NY 337
Junius Ponds, Waterloo Premium Outlets, NY 318
Chittenango, former Kinney Drugs, NY 5 & 13
Bridgeport, former Kinney Drugs, NY 31
Liverpool, former Verizon Wireless, NY 31
Clay, Great Northern Mall, NY 31 & 481
Flushing, former Caldor (TBD)
Syracuse, former Bon Ton, Destiny USA (although Five Below are already in newer section)

Known former CNY and Capital Region locations:

Syracuse - downtown, now Rite Aid
Colonie - Northway Mall, NY 5, probably where Target is now
deWitt - Shoppingtown, NY 5
Utica - downtown (first failed store located there; newer store opened when chain grew later)
Fulton - now Dollar General, final CNY location, NY 481

Former chemist division The Rx Place had stores in Carousel Ctr (now Destiny USA where Burlington is now), deWitt (where Marshalls HomeGoods are today) and Wappinger Falls (later PharmHouse and PharMor but may now be ShopRite).


Me parting with my beemer
Round Rock, TX store (Texas Capital Region)
Seeing a commercial for CarMax with MadTV alum Andrew Daly and going by the Henrietta location gave me the idea for the next post.  I might buy a car from them when I get the money.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Toppers Pizza

No free images exist so here's the fantasy SU location.
Toppers Pizza are mainly in the Midwest but should work their way to the Northeast:

Syracuse - SU Hill (pictured), former Brueggers Bagels
Cicero/North Syracuse/Oswego/Baldwinsville/Weedsport/Auburn/Oneida/East Syracuse/Cortland - former Tim Hortons
New Hartford - former Tuesday Morning
Syracuse - northside, former Unos
deWitt - Shoppingtown
Westvale - former CC Dance Centre
Cicero - former Buffalo Wild Wings
Rochester - former Key Bank, NY 252 (Henrietta)
Watertown - former Tilted Kilt
Camillus - former Friendlys
East Syracuse - next to diBellas Subs (Bridge St.)
Cortland - former Tim Hortons or Riverside Plaza
Auburn - former Family Dollar or Tim Hortons
Syracuse (Shop City) - former Blockbuster

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Mall Convergence
JCPenney has since left.
As more people shop online and the economy can be uneasy it seems dead malls are becoming more common in the US and Canada.  Shoppingtown in deWitt is a blatant example of such a lost cause.  In my day it had almost everything but as the years went by society changed but the developers' mindsets didn't so it became a modern day Tumbleweed Connection!  TGI Fridays and JCPenney (in the back above) have just closed shop.  The library will go next year.  Trying to fill it all up at this point would be fruitless so maybe once the row between the town council and Moonbeam is sorted perhaps the wrecking ball could swing like Miley and they could cut their losses.  A lifestyle center like Township 5 across town in Camillus or Legacy Place in Boston suburb Dedham, MA could be the next step.  Whole Foods, IKEA, Stein Mart, Ross Stores, 99 Pub and Toppers to name a few could take over returning the place to its roots as a plaza bringing it full circle.  There are several other centers in CNY alone and across North America that make Pompeii look like Hong Kong but this could be part of the solution.  I might look into Niagara Square in Niagara Falls, ONT next.
Kohan, the company that bought former sister mall Great Northern Mall could buy Shoppingtown as well as they know how to flip malls like that show on HGTV on the west coast can flip houses.  However, Moonbeam insist that it's not for sale and that they shall reformat in the months to come.  CarMax could go there (see later post).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Former IGA locations

Former Hannibal store
Hannibal (now Tops)
Syracuse - Peters (now Tops, Kohls, cornershops, etc.)
Liverpool - Nichols (now a Shurfine)
Lafayette - US 11 (now Dollar General)
Homer - Foodliner (not on IGA site)
Corfu - NY 77 (now vacant)
Clifton - now indie
Bridgeton, NJ - Tri-State Area (now C-Town)
Akwesasne - NY 37 (now St Regis Mohawk First Nation entertainment complex)
Red Hook - US 9 (now Hannaford or CVS?)
Malone - now Country Market
Greenwich - NY 29 (now a farmers market)
Brushton - now Country Store
Star Lake - Padgetts (now Great American)
Stephentown - now vacant
Bingham Park - Hawley (now vacant)
The Bronx - now Scavellos City Island

Tops in Hannibal

Made with Microsoft Paint, poor mans Photoshop!
Tops' latest location on NY 3 just past NY 104 in Hannibal is now open.  I went just a few days before as the old guard IGA were clearing out as much as possible.  It's listed on Tops' site but no article there or the local papers about the soft opening has been released yet.  Previously a Big M to boot, the family who owned it were now in their fourth or fifth generation in this country and were ready to move on.  I have yet to see the place so the façade may have changed or like some former Shurfine or Grand Unions they bought out in recent memory they just retrofit the old sign instead like my cheap rendering shows (gotta make do!).  Now I hope the old Price Chopper in Oswego by Fort Ontario halfway across the county is store #600 (IRS regulations make them count former stores too) but some towards and in New England acquired from ex-sister chain Stop & Shop and their new one Hannaford are next in line.  As for the other Great Lakes chain, you have to go to Potsdam or Old Forge now but it's not the same.  A post about them is next.