Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Commander and Topco brands

Commander brands

These were brands sold at P&C, Quality, Big Bear, BiLo/Riverside, Big M, Neighborhood (now selling ShurFine), and Hometown Markets.

Commander Foods/Penn Traffic (all retired by 1994 except + 2008):

Exel
Party Club
Sunny Square
Golden Acres
Country Manor
Bonny Brook
Penny Curtiss (the last one to go)+

Topco:

Mega*
World Classics (now just a specialty premium brand)
Valu-Time
Full Circle
Food Club
ShurFine/Western Family
Food Club
Top Crest*
Paws
Top Care (sold at Wegmans, Tops, Grand Union, some indies, and Price Chopper!)
Clear Value (at Tops and Price Chopper)
Domestix
Electrix
EasyClix

*retired brands

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hometown Markets

Hometown Markets logo

Hometown Markets was a co-op of independent supermarkets in Central New York from the '80s and '90s that teamed up against the big boys, even though they were clients of Penn Traffic's former wholesale division, which also serviced Big M, Neighborhood Markets, and other indies, so they would have many of the same items, including store brands from PT's Commander Foods division until replaced by Chicago-based Topco in 1993. Here's a list of all the stores in the group:

Peter's - last one to close to date (see earlier post)
William's - was largest indie in state, now lost to the ages
Arace's - one I never knew about until recently
Sweetheart Market - another North Syracuse landmark; sign survives
Nojaim Bros. - the sole survivors; still operating in Syracuse and Marcellus
Burnet - previously Big M in Eastwood, short-lived in Camillus
Smith's - had been in Chittenango, Cazenovia, Fayetteville, Minoa, Manlius, and East Syracuse
Snyder's - also faded into obscurity

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thrift stores

Salvation Army Thrift Store; Augusta, ME
Forgot where is this.

A lot of us have seen these if not shopped there. Thrift stores, or charity shops (UK term). In the States, the bulk of them are run by the Salvation Army, and in the UK, Oxfam rule the roost. Goodwill have also cornered the market, but I've only gone in Albany, NY. In my area, the Rescue Mission in Syracuse and Binghamton have Thrifty Shopper. We used to have Volunteers of America in Auburn. Others are indies, run by churches, hospitals, care homes, and non-profit organisations. Some are even for-profit, but I haven't seen any in my state.
One can find clothes, records, videos, electronics, books, toys, furniture, appliances, drinking glasses, costume jewellery, and other odds and ends at rock-bottom prices. You can donate items as well. Most places, you have to have someone look at them first, especially if you want a receipt for an itemised tax write-off (laws may vary by state and country), or if there are restrictions on what's accepted (TVs are a big one because of DTV making older sets obsolete). If something doesn't sell, it could go in the free bin or the dust bin! The revenue after costs and payroll is supposed to help those in need if it's philanthropic. Also, inventory is usually sold as-is and may not be as varied and desirable as when it was brand-new and sold at a conventional retail outlet. With the recession, families are turning to charity shops for everyday items on a budget. The Rescue Mission also has clothing giveaways for the needy.
I think because these op shops aren't about the bottom line, it isn't directly part of the economy, even though because of it, these stores are more relevant than before. Also, those who must squeeze pennies, as well as those who are into vintage fashion, will keep these places around a long time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Virgin Cola Wanted

diet Virgin cola

For a change of routine, here's a post on a product rather than a chain, saved from VidiNow before they changed hosts:

Those of you in the UK and certain other countries, I could use your help on this. I have been wanting to get diet Virgin Cola (or Virgin Cola Light on some of the continent) for some time now. A couple of e-tailers who specialise in UK goods that can be shipped to the States I've heard about didn't have it and were unable to stock it, yet one of them could have Pepsi and Coke from the UK sent to North America, which isn't that necessary, while Virgin Cola remains the Robbie Williams of soft drinks! Twice, it failed to catch fire in the shops. Even own brands sold more than Virgin! Maybe I'll buy import diet Pepsi or diet Coke in future just to try it (my Canadian friends, I did buy your editions of these when I stopped by, as well as A&W and Diet RC last year!). I'm sure it's made differently than at the bottlers across town from me! There might be a shop in the Southwest US that could help me, but I have to find them first!


It's human nature to want what you cannot have, innit? If I could just give this a go at least once, I'll be satisfied. If I win the lottery, I could go on holiday in the UK and then I could pick it up along with house brands at Tesco or ASDA!


So if your country has Virgin Cola, and you're willing to post it, do send me a message, and we'll work something out, won't we? I'll pay, of course, but we'd have to figure out the currency conversion, P&H, and if it'll manoeuvre through Customs (it can be checked off as 'gift' because I couldn't sell it anyway if I wanted to). A one or two litre bottle would suffice. Cans might be too heavy or harder to ship.


To think I'd go out of my way for soda! This is no mere soda!

P&C, Quality, and BiLo/Riverside: Here to stay

Four logos

According to Store Front, it looks like the former Penn Traffic brands aren't going the way of Peter's, William's, and Price Chopper New Zealand. It appears that P&C, Quality, and BiLo/Riverside will remain in use for the time being. Also, the Wild Card loyalty programme will also continue to be accepted at these stores. However, Tops' own Bonuscard (still used by current Ahold US stores) might not be taken at all of the newbies (the Skaneateles store took my Bonuscard, but I used my Wild Card at the Skytop store the next day), as it uses a different algorithm, and is not interchangeable with the Wild Card. Not everyone thinks to have both, even if they were in the same area beforehand (such as Bath, Buffalo, and Erie). Even three BiLos in Pennsylvania that now are called Tops yet remain on the BiLo site still use the Wild Card and the same ad as the other new stores (see earlier post). However, it is still early days and the stores are still being evaluated and more announcements are being made as they come.
P&C, Quality, and BiLo/Riverside each have a long history in their respective areas, and it'd be hard to shut the door on it all. These have all changed hands in the past, especially P&C, but it's a different world now. Increasing competition from world-class Wegmans and un-union Walmart, as well as the economy have changed the rules. We'll have to see how this will pan out in the long term. I can accept having the different names as conglomerates Safeway, A&P, and Kroger, who have larger market spans, have it this way as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Former Peter's locations


I took this myself and made it as close as possible from memory.

No photo exists of the Skytop Peter's as that, so I had to make do.

My one-time employer Peter's Groceries were a fixture in my area from 1944 until late 2004. After three generations and administration, they became another statistic of a local business being lost to the ages. Here's where they used to be:

501 Midland Ave., Syracuse south side (original store)
Skytop Plaza, Syracuse (pictured, flagship now a Tops)
Shop City Plaza, Syracuse (formerly Green Hills, co-existed in plaza with and was bought out by P&C, and now Tops as well)
5399 N. Burdick Street, Fayetteville (now a Kohls)
NY 5 & 92, Lyndon (DeWitt/Fayetteville)
500 Butternut Square, Syracuse north side (now a Save-a-Lot)
US 11, North Syracuse (previously William's, now Planet Fitness, Thrifty Shopper and Maines)

Peter's had been part of the Hometown Markets partnership (in a later post). Many longtime employees stayed on through different vintages and changing of hands. Personally, I was better at shopping there than working there, to cut a long story short. The pressure was on, and the Peter family were petered out! Still many older townies remember it, especially as an IGA franchise! Still, it's good to remember a simpler time!

Shop local

Books & Memories

In Syracuse and Albany, there are grassroots campaigns to urge people to shop locally, by going to small, indie business 100% owned and operated in their respective regions. 68% of the money spent stays in the local community, while the rest may go to an out-of-town company and the taxman. Still, you're helping your neighbours by shopping close to home. The alternative weeklies in these Upstate hubs (New Times and Metroland) also have annual polls on the best of each category of local businesses.
Locally-owned franchises of multi-national chains such as McDonald's for starters don't technically count since the big boys will still get the lion's share. The point of this movement is to avoid the Walmarts and KFCs of the world whenever possible. A local business is supposed to be the antithesis of the big box conglomos.
I'm not sure if there are similar trends in the rest of Upstate (especially areas comprised mainly of small towns like the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys on the Thruway corridor), but there ought to be. The economy needs help big time, and it starts in our own backyards.
Buying local products is a plus, but that might not always be practical. Some things can't be made or grown in the Northeast US, like orange juice or shea butter.
Another downside to it all is that prices might be higher at a local place than a national chain, as the little guy probably can't afford to sell for less, and can't always compete in a David and Goliath situation.
It's good to have selection, but if you can get it local, it will pay for itself at the end of the day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Local grocers in CNY

P&C Foods
Thank the Lord I got this as you never think it could be gone one day.

A recently bygone era.

I will start a post on buying local overall shortly. First, I will start in one of my main areas of expertise, the grocery industry.
While the P&C name stuck around through the summer (click the link for its current incarnation), similar situations have occurred with other companies, new guard Tops is a Western NY institution, ending a tradition in Central NY going back decades. There also used to be a co-op called Hometown Markets (see other post), whose partners were Peters (an IGA in early days), Smiths, Burnet, Araces, Williams, Sweetheart, and Nojaim Bros. Most of these have closed, with Williams in 1996, Sweetheart in 2003, and Peters over a year later. Sole survivors Nojaims in Marcellus and Syracuses west side, along with Liverpools Nichols (also an ex-IGA) and Fultons Strupplers are now ShurFine affiliates. Health-conscious hipsters have the Syracuse Real Food Coop (or as I call it, the hippie store!). Also see my earlier post on Big M. In Utica, Chanatrys on French Road remains highly involved in the community. Byrne Dairy holds their own. However, I'm not fond of those inner-city cornershops, as they have a tepid reputation (from a retail point of view). You know what I mean! They're a different animal anyway.
Green Hills near Nedrow had once been named the biggest little grocery store in America. So thats supposed to make it the Reno of supermarkets? I should stop there more often!
On Syracuses upper south side, Jubilee Homes will set up a small supermarket on South Ave. This is a part of town where there isn't a lot of money and many people don't have a car, much like me. The bus isn't always feasible for bringing a lot of groceries home, especially for families with small children as well as the over-60s, so to have something nearby with healthy choices is very essential. As far as I know, this will be 100% indie, and not an IGA or Big M franchise. The store may have the Jubilee name, but it is not related to a store in Chemung County in the Twin Tiers area.
While Price Chopper, Wegmans, Tops, and Walmart have marginalised the market, there will always be a niche for local selection in the Syracuse area.

Big M Supermarkets

Elbridge Big M.jpg
Glad I took this when I had the chance as it's a Tops now.

There is now an official site for Big M, a regional chain of franchised grocery stores that are chiefly in small towns and suburbs. I went to a few of these back in my day, yet not as much in recent history. The company were essentially purchased from Penn Traffic by C&S Wholesale Grocers. They used to be a stepsister to P&C in a way. They would have similar inventory. Big M were stepsister to Grand Union (mainly O&Os but also in Charles Kuralt-friendly communities) and Best Yet Markets (NYC/Long Island franchise).
I used to have a fan site, but the host shut down and I can't even archive it, so I had to start from scratch. I was not in the position to start a full-fledged site, so I think this was close enough before Big M made their own at last!  Some franchises are on Facebook like Alex Bay.
Big M are the largest chain of independent supermarkets in the state (with some in the Twin Tiers region). All are locally owned and operated in their respective towns and some are even union.  They charge fees according to one would-be store.
The ad still showed Topco private labels Food Club and Paws. Since Big M have been under C&S control the past few years, it looked like they may continue to carry these brands and the only places to get them in these parts now that Tops had moved their own brands into the former Penn Traffic chains (Tops used to have Ahold USA brands).  Big M now carry Best Yet which I go into more in another article.

Current locations:

North Region:

Alexandria Bay
Malone
Norwood
Oswego
Plattsburgh
Speculator

Southern Region:

Andover
Deposit
Osceola, PA (Tioga)
Ovid
Walton
Westfield, PA++
Windsor

Central Region:

deRuyter
Dolgeville
Seneca Knolls (was Shurfine for a period; now the last Big M in Onondaga County and the flagship as office is about a mile away in van Buren)
Sherburne
Auburn (honorable mention; Maxwells has Big M signs inside and sells Best Yet items, which may mean they use C&S)

Western Region:

Bloomfield
Gates (Rochester suburb)
Caledonia

Former locations:

Adams***
Canisteo (not on site now)
Eagle Bay++
Baldwinsville (Smokey Hollow; previously Smiths Hometown Market; now vacant)
Syracuse (Burnet Ave.; also a Hometown Market and later Discount Natural Foods; building is now gone and a car park is there)
Boonville***
Brockport++
Morrisville
Clayton (now a Shurfine)
Clifton Springs
Geneva
Elbridge**+ (pictured)
Jordan**+ (Tops to close)
Hamilton*?
Lyons (now Tops)
Hilton (Rochester exurb. Now Tops; also was Furnals Fresh Market, a ShurFine affiliate, as well as an ex-IGA franchise)*
Oriskany Falls++
New Berlin++
Whitney Point++
Hannibal (later IGA and became Tops in 2016)
Ilion++
Little Falls (closed but became Price Chopper in April 2014)
Mexico**
Mohawk++
Morris++
Montour Falls++
Hammondsport++
Old Forge (also now an IGA)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA area (small town TBD)
Philadelphia, NY
Potsdam (went back to IGA)
Pulaski (almost became Big M but owner couldn't afford their fees so he also went to Shurfine instead but is now closed)
Sandy Creek***
Watertown***
Warsaw***
Weedsport (now ShurFine)*
Wolcott+
St Johnsville++
Spencer++
Spencerport++
Union Springs (now ShurFine)*
Syracuse (Westcott St.; now a non-profit organisation)
Syracuse (Court St.; now Diamond Market)*
Syracuse (E. Colvin St. near SU; now vacant)
East Syracuse (ex-Leo & Sons; now a Thrifty Shopper)
Union Springs (Shurfine)
Fulton (Mirabitos Midstate on Cayuga St., former sister to current Hannibal store)*
Fulton (Strupplers on NY 48; later a Shurfine dealer and Valero station but just brought Tops back to town after a decade away)
Fort Plain (was Grand Union before it was Big M and is now a Save-a-Lot)
Syracuse (Previously Leahs Market on Onondaga Hill, but Big M sign was no longer on building. Formerly Abbotts before that. Later Hill Top Market, another ShurFine affiliate; now Big O Deli.)*
Syracuse (US 11 Wolf St on north side, later Wilson Farms, then Dullys, now Dollar Tree)

Other towns TBD.

All are closed or unknown to me unless indicated. Subject to change. *Now 100% indie. **Formerly Farrugia family-owned but has become Tops.  ***Became Tops in June 2013.  ++TBD (off official site)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Identity crisis

Price Chopper in Brookside
Not the one I grew up with!
Chain or company names used by one or more different companies:

Price Chopper (chains in Upstate New York [becoming Market 32], Kansas and Missouri [pictured], franchise in world-famous Branson, MO; previously in Ontario*, formerly in Oregon, and late Woolworths division in New Zealand*, as well as wristbands!)
Wegmans (chain and obscure small dairy store in Marcellus)
Market Basket (US south and New England chain recently in the news)
Mr Sub (Canada*, Lowville and Mr Subb in Albany area)
Rite Aid (US chemist giant and Australian* brand)
Tops (used in New York, Connecticut, Thailand [offshoot of NY chain], Washington State, Michigan, and northern California), as well as a now-closed small chain of Chinese buffets in Virginia to boot!
BJs (Brewhouse and Wholesale Club)
Hersheys (Creamery and Chocolate, both based in Pennsylvania Capital Region)
Big Bear (used to be in Ohio; unrelated businesses in Georgia and the Carolinas)
Woolworths (original US icon, UK*, Mexican, and German spinoffs, Oceania*, and South Africa*)
Bi-Lo (Pennsylvania, Australia*, Idaho and South Carolina)
Peppinos Pizza (Syracuse, Niagara FallsSouth Carolina, Brooklyn, three in Colorado, California, Michigan, the UK* and Northern Ireland, three in Pennsylvania, three in Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Long Island, the Bronx, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rosendale, Duanesburg [Albany exurb], Callicoon, Australia*, Germany, Canada*, South Africa* [just the ovens], etc.!) - Has to be the most common occurrence!
Rays Pizza (similar to above; mainly NYC tri-state area)
Smiths (former local Syracuse chain and Kroger division)
P&C (confused with Price Chopper [NY] sometimes!)
Quality (former P&C sister and Krogers QFC)
Big M (NY/PA franchise chain, Canadian* drug store in Calgary, ALB; Australian* flavoured milk, clothing company in New Jersey, Albany truck stop, and obscure indie store out West)
Grand Union (used for the chain and a few other things including Croatian store and hotel with chains former logo)
Acme (brand used in cartoons, PA and OH chains)
Lowes (DIY, mid-Atlantic and southwest)
Food Lion (east coast) and Lion (west coast).
Nojaim (two CNY ShurFine affiliates and former cornershop in Eastwood; two may be related but not sure if they are to recently widowed former resident)
Target (US, once in Canada* and US chain operating there now, and Australia*)
Kmart (US and former Australian* arm)
Dominicks (Safeways defunct Chicago-area branch and Syracuse Neighbourhood Market)
ShopRite (The States, formerly in Canada*, South Africa*, the Isle of Man*, and Australia*)
Stop & Shop (New England and Ohio)
Shop 'n Save (Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Maine)
Martins (Pennsylvania/Virginia and Indiana) - sister to Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle, but use other name because of the following
Giant (Giant Eagle, Allegheny County, sister stores in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and Broome County chain bought out by Weis). Food Giant also used in the UK*, Missouri, San Diego, Miami, Columbus, MS, and Birmingham, AL.

*Commonwealth realm.

And some people think I sell flooring!

Former Price Chopper locations

Price Chopper on Erie Blvd. E.

Here's where Price Chopper used to be (all NY unless indicated):

Framingham, MA (closed)
Schenectady (Sheridan Plaza)
Watervliet*/**
Albany*/**
Oneonta*
Albany (New Scotland Ave. Mini Chopper)
Mechanicville*/***
Pittsfield, MA*/***
Glens Falls*/***
North Troy*/**
Green Island*/**
Poughkeepsie (South Hills Mall)
Shrewsbury, MA*
Oneida - now Herb Phillipson's*
Oswego (near Fort Ontario)*
Saratoga Springs*
Northampton, MA
Baldwinsville?
Fulton (NY 3)*
DeWitt (Hechinger Plaza) - later Big Lots and Stickley Clearence Centre; soon to be rented*
DeWitt (Kmart plaza) - now OfficeMax*
Liverpool*
West Boylston, MA
Willowbrook
Colonie*
Plattsburgh*
Scranton, PA
Syracuse (Western Lights)*
New Hartford*
Albany (Westgate)*
Syracuse (Erie Blvd. & Midler Ave.) - may move again in 2014 (pictured)

*moved
**As Public Service Market
***As Central Markets

More locations TBD

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Former P&C locations

P&C logo
Logo drawn by me.

These are former locations of P&C that had already closed years ago or recently, mainly in CNY. All NYS and/or vacant unless indicated:

Fulton - should become a Tops, now CCC North
Clyde - had last surviving early sign, now a  Save-a-Lot
Bath - now a Save-a-Lot as well
Tyrone, PA (4/24) - closing BiLo
Johnstown, PA (BiLo) - now a Valu King
Rome (NY 26) - Now a Dollar General
Rome (NY 46) - now a Price Chopper
Rome (Freedom Mall) - later Tops, then P&C again, and back to Tops
Pulaski - now a Tractor Supply
Ogdensburg (4/20) - also a Save-a-Lot
Philipsburg, PA (BiLo)
Syracuse (Burnet Ave.) - Open 1986-2004; demolished for Bill Rapp Nissan*
Syracuse (Shop City) - Left in '80s, replaced Peter's in late 2004
Mattydale - open 1986-94; now Big Lots*
Mattydale - Penny Curtiss bakery division
Auburn (Grant Ave.) - demolished for Walgreens
Auburn (Genesee St.) - should become a Price Chopper or PriceRite
Oswego **
Syracuse (Eastwood) - Later Arc; also demolished for Walgreens
Fairmount - now Bed Bath and Beyond
Utica - later Tops and now Hannaford (it's a small town, so I know)
Schenectady - left in late '90s
Hanover, NH
Lincoln, NH
Attica (Quality)
Jamestown (Quality)
Canton**
Gouverneur**
Massena**
Peterborough, NH (was also A&P who are completely gone)
West Carthage**
Newark
Seneca Falls*
Elmira Heights
Geneva - Tops are already in town
Batavia - closed decades ago
East Syracuse - later Big M (former stepsister), now Thrifty Shopper (info based on picture of familiar marina-style building typical in postwar era)
Gang Mills
Watkins Glen
Muncy, PA - BiLo turned Big Lots
Hornell
Bradford, VT - now a Hannaford, may have been a Grand Union before P&C
Lakewood, NY (Quality)
White River Jct., VT - far outside usual Tops market region; previously a Grand Union
Erie, PA (Quality) - overlaps with existing Tops
Ithaca (Hancock St.) - same reason although Pine Tree Road one survives to this day
Cortland, NY (US 11/NY 41) - overlaps with existing Tops on NY 281 in Cortlandville; also formerly Grand Union should become a PriceRite (see other post while Riverside Plaza one lives on)
Clarion, PA (BiLo)
Blairsville, PA (BiLo)
Cicero - now an Ollie's Bargain Outlet
Judd Falls
Syracuse (Tipperary Hill) - Later a bingo hall, now a Jehovahs Witness Kingdom Hall
Watertown
Syracuse (Valley Plaza) - now a Tops
Waterbury, VT
Natrona Heights, PA (BiLo)
Lebanon, NH - now Price Chopper
Hollidaysburg, PA (BiLo)
Colchester, VT
Rutland, VT - previously Grand Union and now Hannaford
Martinsburg, WV - left state years ago, as did sister stores BiLo and Big Bear
State College, PA - long gone from Centre County
Carthage
Macedon (NY 31)
Canandaigua (NY 5/US 20)
Herkimer - now Hannaford
Horseheads
Oneida - now Price Chopper
Painted Post
Plattsburgh
Potsdam**
Southport
Randolph, VT
Towanda, PA
Trumansburg
New Hartford- now Hannaford
Little Falls - now Hannaford
duBois, PA (BiLo)***
Brookville, PA (BiLo)***
St Marys, PA (BiLo)***
Titusville, PA (Quality)***
Dunkirk (Quality)
Woodstock, VT - also was a Grand Union, then a Mac's Markets

Other towns TBD. Some of this was from a Google search, some from press, and some from memory. Many P&C locations that remained have just become Tops, from the North Country, Central Leatherstocking Region, southeast Finger Lakes, then Twin Tiers, and all the way back to Central New York.

*Previously Tops
**now Price Chopper
***now Giant Eagle

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grand Union - Past and Present

Managed to take this of the old Glenmont store, one of the last in the immediate Albany area.
This list of former Grand Union locations was on Wikipedia, but it had to be removed, so I put it here where it would be better.  The end of an era.

Locations

New York

Now Tops:

Corinth, Warrensburg, Bolton Landing, Elizabethtown, Peru, North Creek, Au Sable Forks, Schroon Lake, Northville, Chestertown, Greenville (ex-Bryant's), Hancock, Stamford, Hoosick Falls, West Coxsackie, Tannersville and two in Saranac Lake (all small towns).

Other former GU stores:

Albany (Central Ave ACROSS from Westgate) - later was a Toys for Joy, now is a Hannaford

Albany (Central Ave IN Westgate) - A former Albany Public turned Scot's Lo Cost (Same company)- turned into GU when merged then torn down during renovations a few years back - sat in the "corner" of the plaza.  Now has Price Chopper.

Albany (Central Ave just ABOVE Westgate same side) - This was a former Caldor/Price Chopper plaza - the Caldor was torn down and a MEGA SAVE store was built (identical to the one in Poughkeepsie that never opened) - this was open 6 MONTHS then closed during bankruptcy. In fact, at one point, a "Grand Opening" sign and a "Store Closing" sign were seen on the store at the same time. The whole plaza was torn down and a Home Depot is now there.

Amsterdam - now True Value Hardware

Astoria - was no longer in greater Tri-State area

Ausable Forks - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops by 2013

Ballston Spa - now Ocean State Job Lot

Beacon - Now Key Food

The Bellmores - GU was no longer on Long Island

Bolton Landing - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops once more in 2013

Brooklyn - may now be ShopRite (possibly the one off the F tube)

Burnt Hills - now Dollar General

Brunswick - closed and became a Salvation Army Family Store, now closed.

Binghamton - closed; now Auction Centre.

Cambridge - closed 2002; now Dollar General (small part vacant for lease)

Champlain - became Tops; closed in 2005; currently Ace Hardware

Chatham - now Price Chopper

Chappaqua - stayed open till 2006; now a Dagastino's

Chenango - now a Weis

Chestertown - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and back to Tops again in 2013

Carmel - became Key Food in 2001; now NYSC (fitness chain)

Clifton Park - now a Kohls; store HQ later in town under C&S but there were no more Saratoga County stores by 2004

Clinton - TBD

Cold Spring - caught on fire in 2002; rebuilt as Foodtown

College Point - TBD; also see below

Commack - TBD; GU was no longer on Long Island by 2000s

Corinth - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops again in 2013.

Cornwall - Became Key Food in 2001

Cortland - became P&C in early '80s; now closed

Deer Park - now Stop & Shop

Delmar (NY 443) - now Hannaford

Dobbs Ferry - now a Stop & Shop

East Greenbush (US 4)- Torn down when Walmart expanded to super store, where part of parking lot/driveway is now.

East Greenbush (US 9 & 20) - Another former Albany Public, was Grand Union for just a short time, then Big Al's discount, later Fay's and then Eckerd before closing last year after the Rite Aid buyout (as there is a Rite Aid just across street) - now vacant.

Elizabethtown - became Tops in 2001, returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops in 2013

Elmira - closed in the early or mid 1980s. Was an independent hardware store for several years as of the early 2000s.

Endicott - A&P prior to becoming Grand Union in mid-1980s. Closed and vacant for 3 years. Demolished in 2001, now undeveloped land in Endicott Kmart Plaza

Endwell - closed and vacant for 2.5 years. Demolished, rebuilt as Giant Markets (now Weis)

Flushing - GU was no longer in the New York City boroughs

Forest Hills - became Met Foods, now Walgreens

Fort Edward - closed in 2003; recently caught fire.  Market 32 opened recently at the site.

Fort Plain - Later Big M (former-stepsister chain); now a Save-a-Lot

Freeport - became a Compare Foods Supermarket and is now a CVS/pharmacy

Fultonville - closed by time chain was sold; current status TBD

Garden City - 7th St. Location - now a Pathmark

Garden City - Roosevelt Field Shopping Centre - later Herman's Sporting Goods

Glenville - now vacant

Glenmont - now a Marshalls (old store pictured in 2004)

Gloversville - No longer a Grand Union, current status TBD

Goshen - now a CVS/pharmacy

Greenville - later Bryants Country Square, but also now a Tops

Greenwich - became Eagle Bridge Furniture in 2002; now a butcher shop? (not Greenwich Village in NYC)

Guilderland - now Price Chopper

Hamilton - NY 12B; later Tops, later Grand Union again and Fashion Kraze; now Parrys general store (last CNY store)

Hancock - Still Open as Tops

Hicksville - Became Scatturo's; now Best Market (formerly one-time stepsister store to GU under C&S Best Yet Market)

Highland - Became Hannaford

Hoosick Falls - Still Open as Tops

Hopewell Junction - recently closed

Hudson Falls - closed in 2001; remains vacant

Hudson - on Union Street, closed many years ago, has housed offices since and still does

Hyde Park - Closed in 2004; now an Amish Market

Jay - TBD

Keeseville - was Tops in 2001-03, Save-a-Lot 2004-06, and Bourgeois IGA until last year, but may become a Macs Markets or Shaws in future.

Kingsbury - demolished in 2005; now Hannaford

Kingston - There were two. One near uptown Kingston and one just outside of the city in the town of Ulster. The Ulster location is a grocery store but the uptown site is now vacant.

Lake Placid - became Tops in 2001; closed 2005

Latham - in the Latham Circle mall as an outparcel, later Gold's Gym, torn down when Lowes was built

Latham (Route 2 between Latham & Watervliet) - now houses a church

Larchmont - no longer a Grand Union by the time chain folded

Loudonville - now Price Chopper

Little Neck - now Stop & Shop

Mahopac - now a Key Food Marketplace

Malta - now Price Chopper

Massapequa - later a Pathmark; now TBD

Mechanicville - No longer a Grand Union when they became defunct; more info TBD

Menands - Broadway. Originally an Albany Public Market, now the space is used as an operations center for Bank of America.

Middleburgh - TBD

Millbrook - now Foodtown?

Millerton - now Foodtown

Monroe - now a Super Stop & Shop

Monsey/Wesley Hills - became Wesley Kosher Supermarket

Mount Ivy - long gone!

Mount Kisco - became Stop & Shop; closed in 2007; now a CVS

New Hartford - formerly in New Hartford Shopping Centre; may have been a Save-A-Lot later but Tuesday Morning are moving over from down the block.

Niskayuna - now multi-purpose space, including medical offices

Niskayuna (Nott St.) - ShopRite now open

North Bellmore - Took over the former ShopRite, which was The Big Apple supermarket now Super Stop & Shop

North Creek - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops in 2013

Northport - became a Key Food Marketplace; now closed

Northville - now Tops

Palantine Bridge - Was no longer a Grand Union

Peru - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops again in 2013

Plainview - was no longer on Long Island

Plattsburgh - one now a Big M, another now a TJ Maxx (2 other stores TBD)

Pleasantville - now a Key Food Marketplace

Pomona/Mt Ivy - became Stop & Shop

Port Henry - became Tops in 2001; now Mac's Markets

Port Jefferson Station - became Giunta's Meat Farms

Poughkeepsie (city) - closed in 1991; now Davis Furniture

Poughkeepsie (town) - constructed to become a Mega Save Grand Union in 2000, but was never finished because of the bankruptcy and never opened; it is still vacant

Queensbury - now Toys "R" Us

Ramapo - closed a generation ago

Remsen - TBD

Rhinebeck - original store vacant for a period and is now an urgent care; Stop & Shop built next door and will become ex-sister store Tops

Rotterdam - now Superior Office Products

Rouses Point - closed in 2000; became Save-A-Lot in 2002; currently a Dollar General

Saranac Lake - there were two Grand Unions operating. Both became Tops in 2001, then returned to Grand Union in 2006 and back to Tops in 2013.

Saratoga Springs (Congress Ave.) - became Off Broadway Theatre & Grill; now an Embassy Suites

Saratoga Springs (West Ave.) - now an Empire State College outreach centre

Saugerties- closed a couple years ago, now vacant

Sayville - now Stop and Shop

Schenectady (State St.) - now Aldi.  Other Schenectady County stores TBD.

Schodack - Built as Grand Union in 1977, closed during last bankruptcy and remained vacant, opened as Tractor Supply in 2007.

Schroon Lake - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and full circle to Tops in 2013.

Scotia - Was no longer a Grand Union

Sidney - became Tops in 2001; now a Price Chopper

South Glens Falls - now Hannaford

Spring Valley/Hillcrest - now Bravo Food

Smithtown - now a Waldbaums

Stamford - now Tops

Stony Point - ("old Grand Union") became CVS/pharmacy (stores were open simultaneously; 1st Stony Point store retained '60s façade)

Stony Point - ("new Grand Union") became Stop & Shop which is now closed. (this store was remodelled to red dot format)

Suffern - ShopRite?

Syracuse area - left by early '80s; perhaps earlier or later (may need more research); included Shop City and Northern Lights

Tallman - opened as a King Kullen, became Grand Union, now vacant

Tannersville - now Tops

Tarrytown - now a Walgreens

Ticonderoga - became Tops in 2001; closed 2005

Troy - no longer had a Grand Union a decade ago.  Hoosick Falls was last Renssalaer County store.

Utica - left in the '60s, now a Price Chopper (formerly King Cole Shopping Plaza)

Vail Mills - now Adirondack Wildlife Museum

Valatie - closed in 2007; now an Ocean State Job Lot

Vestal (Four Corners) - Was the IBM Endicott IDEAS Department before the building was split in half, with IDEAS keeping one side
and the other becoming a Grand Union in 1978. Grand Union closed in 2001, was first vacant, now Big Lots

Vestal (Vestal Plaza) - Opened in 1959. Turned into a dollar store decades later, demolished, now private student housing for Binghamton University

Warrensburg - became Tops in 2001; returned to Grand Union in 2006 and Tops again in 2013

Waterford - No longer had a Grand Union.  Also had a warehouse.

West Babylon - became Foodtown; now is a ShopRite

West Islip - was no longer on Long Island by 2000s

West Nyack - became Stop & Shop

Whitehall - became Tops in 2001, then closed; now Dollar General

West Coxsackie - now Tops

West Hempstead - later Pathmark; now on the market

In October 2005, C&S's Grand Union Family Market division announced that they would acquire 12 Tops Markets supermarkets in the Adirondack region of New York state. Ironically, these were Grand Union stores before Tops acquired them from C&S in 2001.  Many of them became Tops again in 2013 (see above).

----

New Jersey

Asbury Park - No longer a Grand Union and had left the Garden State by 2004.

Belleville - Later a Foodtown; and then A&P; now their sister store Food Basics USA

Berkeley Heights - now a Stop & Shop

Bridgewater - now a Barnes and Noble

Butler - now a Stop & Shop

Carlstadt - Last "Mega GU" prototype superstore opened right before liquidation; now Super Stop & Shop

Clifton (Broad Street) - now a Stop & Shop

Clifton (Styretowne Centre) - later a C-Town, now a CVS/pharmacy

Clifton (Lexington Ave) - now Rite Aid

Closter - became a Stop & Shop, now a Whole Foods

Denville - became a Key Food; now a Walgreens

Elmwood Park - store, vacant office tower, and adjacent Walgreens demolished after store closed, new Walgreens built on site

Fair Lawn - later Eckerd, now a Rite Aid

Flemington - now a remodelled strip mall

Fort Lee - later a Pathmark; now a South Korean market

Glen Rock - was no longer a Grand Union

Hackensack - now a Stop & Shop

Hardwick - unknown

Hawthorne - was no longer a Grand Union

Hazlet - formerly located in the Airport Plaza

Lake Hiawatha - now a Foodtown

Landing - later a Pathmark; now Fresh Emporium

Livingston - later a Pathmark; now The Fresh Market

Madison - Now Super Stop & Shop

Manalapan - now a Best Buy

Matawan - Currently a Bed, Bath & Beyond

Middletown - now a Stop & Shop

Midland Park - wasno longer a Grand Union

Montvale - now "The Gym"

Northland - TBD

Oakland - now a Staples and Zeytinia

North Brunswick - later an A&P; now vacant

Paramus - now a Stop & Shop

Point Pleasant - now a Super Stop & Shop

Ramsey - now a Kohl's

Ridgewood - now a Super Stop & Shop

Ringwood - now a Stop & Shop

Rocky Hill - Grand Union was longer here or anywhere in the Garden State

South Brunswick - now a Stop & Shop

Sparta - now a Stop & Shop

Teaneck - now a CVS/pharmacy

Tenafly - now a Stop & Shop

Toms River - became a 99cent SuperStore, now a Stop & Shop

Union City - TBD

Waldwick - now a Stop & Shop

Wayne - was no longer had a Grand Union

Westwood - now a TJ Maxx

West Orange - It became a CVS/pharmacy. However, the original building which housed Grand Union burned to the ground and was replaced with a new modern strip mall complex.

Wyckoff - now a Stop & Shop


----


Vermont


Barre - closed and divided into 2 stores (Lenny's Shoes and Rite Aid Pharmacy)

Bennington - now Tractor Supply Company

Brandon - now Hannaford Supermarket

Bristol - now Shaws

Colchester - later P&C Foods, TBD now

Enosburg Falls - now Hannaford

Essex Center - now Price Chopper

Essex Junction - demolished; now a Lowe's Home Improvement Store

Fair Haven - now Shaws

Hardwick - now Tops

Johnson - closed in 2011 due to flooding but will be replaced by an indie

Ludlow - now Shaws

Manchester Center - now Shaws

Middlebury - now Shaws

Milton - now Hannaford

Montpelier - now Shaws

Newport - now Vista Foods

North Burlington - demolished 2001; re-built as Hannaford

Northfield - now Tops

Poultney - now Shaws

Randolph - now Shaws

Rutland

- US 7 N and US 4 E- now Tops
- US 7 S - was P&C, closed in 2004; large strip mall including Hannaford re-built on the site

St Albans - closed

South Burlington
- Williston Road - Store closed in September 2008; replaced by Price Chopper Supermarket
- Shelburne Road - closed in 2002, replaced by Shaw's; Shaw's re-built in 2004

Springfield - now Peebles

Stowe - now Shaws

Swanton - now Hannaford Supermarket

White River Junction - later P&C; may now be a health food store

Wilmington - now Shaws

Windsor - now a Price Chopper

Woodstock - became P&C, then Mac's Markets


----


Connecticut

Darien - Now Shaws

Fairfield - Closed in 1995; Converted to Bob's Stores

Glenville - no longer had Grand Union in CT.  Stop & Shop?

Greenwich - Two in Greenwich both closed in 2001; Now Stop & Shop

Hamden - Later became Child World, Gelco, Hometown Buffet, now East Buffet (Hamden Plaza).

Monroe - Closed in 1995; Converted to Priced Right Discount Store; Then a location for Tutor Time Day Care; Now empty (Big Y?)

New Fairfield - Now Shaws

Norwalk - Now a Marshalls Store

New Canaan - Building demolished. Now retail stores

Newtown - Now Caraluzzi's

Ridgefield - Now CVS

Southbury - Now Shaws

Southbury - In Southbury Plaza; now Super Stop & Shop

Stamford - Now Grade A Market (Tri-State area)

Storrs - closed but might become Price Chopper if not somewhere else in town (it's a small town)

Stratford - vacant store became an addition to the adjacent Burlington Coat Factory

Trumbull - Closed in 1995; Converted to a Porricelli's Food Mart

Waterbury - Co-Located with GrandWay Dept. Store. (in Colonial Plaza).  Now TBD.

West Haven - Co-Located with GrandWay Dept. Store. Now Railroad Salvage/ShopRite.

Westport - Converted to Shaws

Windsor - Now Geissler's

----

Florida

Miami (3) - Left in early '80s

Coral Gables (near Miami) - Later Winn-Dixie and OfficeMax

Pompano Beach - left decades ago as well

----

Ontario

Toronto area - Now Metro

----

Other states and the Caribbean US Territories

Virginia
Pennsylvania (Milford store about to be Key Food. Was also in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area)
West Virginia
New Hampshire
Puerto Rico
Maryland
US Virgin Islands
Texas
Georgia
Pennsylvania
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington, DC
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
Arkansas
Oklahoma
Ohio
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Missouri
Kentucky
Louisiana
Nantucket, MA

Other towns to be determined. Subject to change. Feedback appreciated.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Restaurant roundup

Cheesecake Factory

Here are the restaurant chains I want to come to Central New York:

The Cheesecake Factory (pictured) - (now in Syracuse which proves in a small way these posts may work, but for Utica, the old Price Chopper in New Hartford is a good spot)
Hardee's*/***
Sonic Drive-In (coming soon)
Dairy Queen* (opening in Cicero shortly)
Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavours*
Golden Corral*
Long John Silvers**
Panda Express (also in Cicero but now can do Oneida County as well)
Steak 'n Shake
Roy Rogers**
Big Boy*/**
Popeyes*
Boston Market (now in CNY but could also look east)
Plainville's Nature's Fare (not a chain but DOA regular family haunt)*
Grand Lux Café (CF's sister chain)***

*Previously in area
**Exurbs only now
***Also needed in other areas

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tops takeover



I just went to the P&C in Syracuse where I used to work and discovered they had just ordered new carts with the Tops name on the handlebar. This may be a sign that the name will change. Also, Tops brand products are starting to come in, and Topco's Food Club (won't miss the soda), Paws (my cat has to have a special brand) and Valu Time (good riddance to the past sauce!) will no longer be available in my area. All other private labels from the Chicago-area based supplier remain, with the addition of their other no-frills brand Clear Value, which also replaced Always Save at Price Chopper in the Northeast (the unrelated chain in the heartland still have Always Save).
I'm hoping that the P&C, Quality, and BiLo/Riverside (not Tops' ex-sister chain) should be retired. I told Tops that they're the old guard and that many people are willing to say goodbye. It's still early days on all this and Tops spokeswoman Kate McKenna should eventually announce what the company's plans will be.
The last time Tops were in Onondaga County was 1986. Ironically, they sold their stores in my area to P&C. One is now a car dealer and another is a Big Lots. The rest I'm not sure. I was quite young! Tops had also been in Oswego, Madison, and Oneida counties. The Rome store bounced back and forth between Tops and P&C, but will be Tops for good really soon. It was feared that it would close, and even though it's a small town, it would not be convenient for everyone to go across town to Price Chopper, even on the bus, since many seniors walked to the store on NY 46 & 49 near Fort Stanwix. Like the former Hamilton store, some Grand Unions turned into Tops in 2001, only for some to change back or close. Under Koninklijke Ahold NV, Tops pulled out of the Mohawk Valley. They come full circle under Morgan Stanley.
In Pennsylvania, three BiLos are already using the new name, yet still take the Wild Card if not the Bonuscard, and have their ad much like that of P&C, except in the Keystone State, you can't buy drink there (except at off-licences) and you don't have to pay deposit on fizzy drinks or water. BiLos in Hallstead and Montrose are franchised, so they're not counted as official BiLos.
Some of these older stores will need pharmacy sections if they can fit it in. At the Shop City store I frequent, part of the store was partitioned off last year to save energy I believe, but I think it can be used again with the pharmacy there, and the dairy and health & beauty sections moved. If things can be manoeuvred in Auburn (pre-existing store) and Skaneateles, I think they can manage near me. Even smaller stores like Canton, PA, Syracuse near SU (former Peter's flagship), and DeWitt are too old to add to and there isn't room or land to build. I think the DeWitt one could move (see earlier post). However, some older people like the old school size as the behemoth Wegmans down the street is too big and overwhelming for them! The union is another story!
Bob Niedt from the local paper usually writes on this, and he inspired me to start this. I can't compete with him, really. He's a professional, and I'm an amateur. I can expand on his way of doing things, but still I'm lucky if anyone's even reading this.
With this acquisition should come self-checkouts, like at Price Chopper. I've used them in Auburn, Cortland, Fulton, and Williamsville. I know there'd be plenty of room in North Syracuse, Fayetteville, and Rome. Smaller ones like Cazenovia, Manlius, and Westvale may have to make room. We'll see how this plays out.
Tops' purchase of Penn Traffic's assets marks the end of an era, going back as far as Victorian times at a fur trading post in Johnstown, PA! The rest, as they say, is history!

Dollar stores

D&D Dollar Store

Dollar stores are this generation's five and dimes. Who knows? A nickel or dime in Edwardian times is said to be worth just over a dollar in today's money when adjusted for inflation and the GDP. This ain't The Wall Street Journal, so I won't bore you with that!
Dollar Tree are the Walmart of dollar stores in the States. Almost every market has at least one. Family Dollar and Dollar General aren't dollar stores per se. They're more in league with Woolworth USA and McCrory from the days of yore, but not quite as legendary!
All for a Dollar and Everything's $1.00, my first dollar stores, as well as Owego-based Dollar Depot and Dollar Bazaar closed years ago.
I'm trying to get Yankee One Dollar and/or Just a Buck into these locations:

Shoppingtown Mall, DeWitt
Great Northern Mall, Clay
Fingerlakes Mall, Auburn
Fairmount Fair, Syracuse
Northern Lights Plaza, North Syracuse
Homer Ave., Cortland
Hyde Park Mall
Former CVS, Delmar
Former Coconut's in Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
Colonie Center, Albany
Commercial Drive, New Hartford
Former Rite Aid, Baldwinsville
Waterloo Premium Outlets, Junius
Former Smith's, Brewerton
Former Smith's Plaza, Cicero
Former Eckerd, Westvale
Former ShopRite, Poughkeepsie
Former Hackett's or Grand Union, Hamilton
Former Caldor, Flushing

I'm open to suggestions.
When I have the money, I could open a JAB franchise, as they have that option. YOD don't even have a website.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Where stores are needed

Red always fades first so I did my best.

Grocery stores are needed in these communities:
Syracuse (South Ave)
LaFayette
Tully
Fabius
Bridgeport
Brewerton
Fort Plain
Palatine Bridge
Sylvan Beach
Camden
Minoa
Cato
Galeville (Liverpool)
Wolcott

I suggest:
PriceRite
Great American
Big M (more info coming soon)
IGA
Save-a-Lot
ShurFine
Aldi

CVS/pharmacy

CVS
Waterbury, CT store.


CVS/pharmacy have been scarce in my area in recent years. About time they come back. Here's where they should go:

*Former Eckerd
**Former Rite Aid
***CVS was here before
+ex-Kinney Pharmacy

Baldwinsville**
Chittenango+
Bridgeport+
Syracuse (north side)*
Norwich*
Solvay/Westvale*
Oneida
Clay***
Oswego
Syracuse (Destiny USA)
Auburn***
DeWitt
North Syracuse
New Hartford
Utica
Fairmount
Jordan

2015: Manlius store will move .25 miles away to former Temple's Dairy Store site.  Rival chain Walgreens could get the old site which had Kinney before (they're now up the street from the new CVS and another archenemy Rite Aid, while one old CVS in Monroe County could be Kinney as they aren't in Rochester but that's another post for another day).  Also, Rite Aid and Walgreens merging may leave overlapping stores they have to divest under Washingtons orders, so CVS could get some of those (particularly in CNY).  More to come.

Possible Tops locations



* Past P&C location
** Past Tops location
*** Past Price Chopper location

Oswego***
Watervliet***
DeWitt (move NY 92 store to NY 5)***
Latham
Nelliston
Hamilton** (also was an on-again, off-again Grand Union)
Hyde Park (also an ex-GU)
New Hartford***
Macedon*
Arcadia*
Cicero - former Burlington at Drivers Village

Possible P&C closings



Here are some P&C, BiLo/Riverside, and Quality stores that could close or be sold because they're out of the usual Tops territory or they overlap. All are in Upstate NY unless indicated:

White River Junction, VT (above)
Cortland (US 11/NY 41)
Bath
Ithaca (2)
Sayre, PA (1)

Previously announced closings:

Bradford, VT (P&C)
Clarion, PA (BiLo)
Blairsville, PA (BiLo)
Hornell, NY (P&C)

Price Chopper acquisitions already announced here.

Poughkeepsie Journal

Existing posts on the Poughkeepsie Journal site:

1 and 2.