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 and IC 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.