Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. No non-grocery posts.
BatteryMill
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

Bradford011 wrote: August 25th, 2021, 6:16 pm TBH I have no idea if any actual building plans have ever been drawn up, the only real proof is a sign announcing the acreage for the shopping center on that corner that's been up for almost 30 years now.

I agree Harris-Teeter and Wegman's are just too big, Lidl gets my vote. There used to be a Safeway in Purcellville (for ages it was Purcellville's sole grocery store) but it closed when IIRC Food Lion came in, it then became an IGA until IIRC Harris-Teeter moved in and it too closed.

Publix would be interesting but as the only Northern VA location is in Stafford County (right now there are about 6 stores in Fredericksburg and 2 in Dumfries) I don't see that happening. An independent is possible, of course. But as I said I just don't see this shopping center ever getting built after all this time.
So I see, and I understand about Aldi/Lidl. What are your sources for the Wegmans/HT/other chains having thought about said site though? I don't believe Wegmans would fit at all for one. I know about the site Safeway was in, perhaps another shot in Round Hill would suffice. I don't know it was an IGA for that long however.

As I've said, Publix is definitely likely to make some inroads in the core of NoVA where other chains are missing (to think, Giant-MD forms a standard grocery monopoly in some areas now especially with Shoppers and Safeway going by the wayside). Concerning the chain, however, I would like to correct you on one account. There exists only one Publix in Fredericksburg, and none are located in Dumfries/Prince William County thus far.
mjhale wrote: August 26th, 2021, 7:56 pm Given all of the development in Purcellville and Round Hill if another new shopping center was going to be built I'd think it would have already been constructed. Just like with the center where Harris Teeter is located now.

As for Publix, if they fit into the Giant/Safeway/Harris Teeter sector of the market, we already have saturation there. I think it would take one of the three of those to leave the DC market to give Publix their entry. There just isn't much space in the more affluent areas that I perceive that Publix would be looking at to build an average size modern grocery store. There was speculation on this board that Publix might be interested in some of the old Shoppers locations. Most of those went to Lidl and Giant. Of the three, Giant/Safeway/Harris Teeter, my feeling is that Safeway is weakest. High prices, inconsistent stores and a blah, dated feeling in the stores even with the recent decor swaps. If Albertsons ever wanted to bail on Safeway and focus on Acme, Publix would be good fit for a lot of the Safeway locations in the DC area. The only conflict is the union seeing as how Publix doesn't have one.
If there was demand, Publix could go for small clippings of the area as opposed to dotting themselves all across Greater Washington. There have already been some sites teasing Publix, so I can see some going in as well as in remaining Shoppers.
mjhale wrote: August 26th, 2021, 8:07 pm

It seems that when SuperValu saw that no independents were going to pick up the stores and SuperValu wanted out of running the stores themselves something had to give. As was discussed in the sale request there was little to no competition in the areas where they were looking to sell stores back to Ahold. Also as you say the stores that would go back would not be near any Giant-PA (Martins) locations.

I have not been in the Berryville, VA store since it became a Martins. However I was in the Greencastle, PA Martins during its grand opening. From a layout and facilities standpoint the store is still a Food Lion. Ahold came in and hung up whatever the latest wall signs are for Giant-PA but left everything else as is. You feel like you are in a Food Lion not a Martins. It is really one of those cases where the store is on its third operator and it still feels like original operator's store. It reminds me of the Super G turned Stop and Shop locations in South Jersey that Ahold sold to Shop Rite. For about the first two to three years those store were operating as Shop Rite they still looked and felt like 1990s neon Giant-MD stores. It was actually kind of surreal being in South Jersey but entering a store that made you feel like you were in the DC area. Shop Rite finally remodeled the stores into their own designs. One has to wonder if Ahold is just running these stores it took back on the cheap to provide some grocery to the areas they are in or if Ahold will actually bring them up to par with the other Giant-PA/Martins locations.
Figures. Independents don't seem too common around here especially in that area.

Speaking of Super G- gotta love how it managed to extend Giant Food out before the Ahold buyout. The Galloway ShopRite still has such decor, albeit the "Fresh Ideas. Great Values." era.

Performance wise, I'm guessing the former, Ahold just gauging how successful a store is. Plus I will argue that bringing back the Food Lion brand is less convenient even in areas without the monopoly hassle given FL operations are no longer present in the area at all. Being much like a standard Food Lion, how do you feel these locations would differ service-wise from standard PA/Martin's stores?
Bradford011 wrote: August 27th, 2021, 6:43 am Given the location of their distribution centers it's unlikely they'll come further north unless the market permits it and another distribution center is built in the Fredericksburg/Falmouth area to service these stores.
Many have touted that it is likely Publix will expand north once their latest distribution center opens in Greensboro, NC this year. This is on the fact that these northernmost stores are currently being serviced by a distribution center in the Atlanta area.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by Bradford011 »

BatteryMill wrote: August 27th, 2021, 10:35 pm
Bradford011 wrote: August 25th, 2021, 6:16 pm TBH I have no idea if any actual building plans have ever been drawn up, the only real proof is a sign announcing the acreage for the shopping center on that corner that's been up for almost 30 years now.

I agree Harris-Teeter and Wegman's are just too big, Lidl gets my vote. There used to be a Safeway in Purcellville (for ages it was Purcellville's sole grocery store) but it closed when IIRC Food Lion came in, it then became an IGA until IIRC Harris-Teeter moved in and it too closed.

Publix would be interesting but as the only Northern VA location is in Stafford County (right now there are about 6 stores in Fredericksburg and 2 in Dumfries) I don't see that happening. An independent is possible, of course. But as I said I just don't see this shopping center ever getting built after all this time.
So I see, and I understand about Aldi/Lidl. What are your sources for the Wegmans/HT/other chains having thought about said site though? I don't believe Wegmans would fit at all for one. I know about the site Safeway was in, perhaps another shot in Round Hill would suffice. I don't know it was an IGA for that long however.

As I've said, Publix is definitely likely to make some inroads in the core of NoVA where other chains are missing (to think, Giant-MD forms a standard grocery monopoly in some areas now especially with Shoppers and Safeway going by the wayside). Concerning the chain, however, I would like to correct you on one account. There exists only one Publix in Fredericksburg, and none are located in Dumfries/Prince William County thus far.
Nothing was in stone AFAIK, Harris-Tetter and Wegman's names came up frequently but I suspect these were only hopes and nothing definite. I'm thinking some store would have to commit to coming to really get the shopping center built.

IGA didn't last long, IIRC only about a year and a half.

I did mess up with Publix locations, the bulk of their stores are in Richmond and not Fredericksburg - just one in Fredericksburg and the new one in Stafford. Don't know what I was thinking... :?
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

Bradford011 wrote: August 28th, 2021, 4:32 am
BatteryMill wrote: August 27th, 2021, 10:35 pm
Bradford011 wrote: August 25th, 2021, 6:16 pm TBH I have no idea if any actual building plans have ever been drawn up, the only real proof is a sign announcing the acreage for the shopping center on that corner that's been up for almost 30 years now.

I agree Harris-Teeter and Wegman's are just too big, Lidl gets my vote. There used to be a Safeway in Purcellville (for ages it was Purcellville's sole grocery store) but it closed when IIRC Food Lion came in, it then became an IGA until IIRC Harris-Teeter moved in and it too closed.

Publix would be interesting but as the only Northern VA location is in Stafford County (right now there are about 6 stores in Fredericksburg and 2 in Dumfries) I don't see that happening. An independent is possible, of course. But as I said I just don't see this shopping center ever getting built after all this time.
So I see, and I understand about Aldi/Lidl. What are your sources for the Wegmans/HT/other chains having thought about said site though? I don't believe Wegmans would fit at all for one. I know about the site Safeway was in, perhaps another shot in Round Hill would suffice. I don't know it was an IGA for that long however.

As I've said, Publix is definitely likely to make some inroads in the core of NoVA where other chains are missing (to think, Giant-MD forms a standard grocery monopoly in some areas now especially with Shoppers and Safeway going by the wayside). Concerning the chain, however, I would like to correct you on one account. There exists only one Publix in Fredericksburg, and none are located in Dumfries/Prince William County thus far.
Nothing was in stone AFAIK, Harris-Tetter and Wegman's names came up frequently but I suspect these were only hopes and nothing definite. I'm thinking some store would have to commit to coming to really get the shopping center built.

IGA didn't last long, IIRC only about a year and a half.

I did mess up with Publix locations, the bulk of their stores are in Richmond and not Fredericksburg - just one in Fredericksburg and the new one in Stafford. Don't know what I was thinking... :?
So I guess more rumor-type stuff. The surrounding neighborhood began construction in the mid-1990s, so it's been about 20 years since plans took off. I am hopeful as well.

Wow, I didn't know that then. That was certainly before Giant managed to break through in the 2000s, and even longer before Harris Teeter came to town. I guess Food Lion definitely did brisk business in the first place.

Correct, around 17 stores exist in the Richmond metro, mostly Ukrop's/Martin's acquisitions. As of now though, the two Virginia stores they have planned are in Quinton (east of I-295) and Suffolk, so no spotlight on NoVA thus far.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: August 27th, 2021, 10:35 pm As I've said, Publix is definitely likely to make some inroads in the core of NoVA where other chains are missing (to think, Giant-MD forms a standard grocery monopoly in some areas now especially with Shoppers and Safeway going by the wayside). Concerning the chain, however, I would like to correct you on one account. There exists only one Publix in Fredericksburg, and none are located in Dumfries/Prince William County thus far.
Personally, I think there is a question of whether we need another grocery store in the immediate Northern Virginia area. I'm not saying Publix shouldn't try. I'm all for additional competition. However, I have to wonder if Publix is thinking we'd be up against Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, Aldi, Lidl and all the various international grocery stores. Where is our place in the market? Richmond is a four way between Publix, Kroger, Food Lion and Walmart. Stafford and Fredericksburg are Publix, Walmart, Giant and Shoppers in Stafford. But the DC area has intense grocery competion. I'm not sure Publix is used to battling it out among many competitors as it seems that they are used to being top dog and rolling over everyone else. I agree with you that Publix is likely to go after certain areas of DC/Baltimore and not doing a major expansion of multiple stores. If they see success in those stores or they force a weaker competitor out that may open the door for them to expand further.

Also, thanks for the note about the Galloway Shop Rite. Looking at the pictures on Google Maps aside from some Shop Rite signage in the front end and the aisle markers they store looks to be vintage Giant-MD Fresh Ideas, Great Values store design. The store must have opened just before or right with the Ahold buyout. At the time of the buyout the Super G stores weren't even ten years old so none of them would have been up for any sort of remodel. I had friends in the Philly area when the Ahold buyout happened. I was able to visit all of the old Super G locations except the one in downtown Trenton, NJ and this one in Galloway, NJ. Even with their new operators or transfer to Ahold's Stop and Shop everything was vintage Giant-MD neon from the 1990s. The only exception I knew of at the time was the store along US 202 near King of Prussia. It was this weird hybrid between physical design between Giant-MD and Giant-PA and the interior design was pretty simple Fresh Ideas, Great Values type department markers. This store was under construction when Ahold bought Giant-MD so the FTC allowed Ahold to open the as a Super G. It only lasted 18 months or so and closed. Last I saw the building was split between several other stores. It is too bad that Galloway, NJ is so far from DC. I'd like to take a wander through the store to see what is left of Giant-MD. I think I'm correct in saying there aren't any Fresh Ideas, Great Values Giant-MD stores left.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: August 27th, 2021, 10:35 pm
Wow, I didn't know that then. That was certainly before Giant managed to break through in the 2000s, and even longer before Harris Teeter came to town. I guess Food Lion definitely did brisk business in the first place.
This article from the Post archives confirms it was Food Lion that did in the Purcellville Safeway. Food Lion opened in 1990 according to the article. Apparently Safeway had been in Purcellville almost 50 years at the time of the closing. They had been in their last location since 1968. Looks like they had a 25 year lease. The article said Safeway declined to renew the lease.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by Bradford011 »

mjhale wrote: August 28th, 2021, 3:08 pm[snip]Personally, I think there is a question of whether we need another grocery store in the immediate Northern Virginia area. I'm not saying Publix shouldn't try, I'm all for additional competition.
I must agree. The market is already saturated with Giant and Safeway dominating the other chains. If Publix does come in it must realize it's facing serious existing competition and will have to work very hard to gain a foothold. And it's very possible that the accountants will realize that this could be an expensive failure, especially with the many issues facing grocery stores today.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by Bradford011 »

mjhale wrote: August 28th, 2021, 4:40 pmThis article from the Post archives confirms it was Food Lion that did in the Purcellville Safeway. Food Lion opened in 1990 according to the article. Apparently Safeway had been in Purcellville almost 50 years at the time of the closing. They had been in their last location since 1968. Looks like they had a 25 year lease. The article said Safeway declined to renew the lease.
Thank you for that article. But reading it makes it sound like Food Lion came in before Giant, and I could swear Giant came before Food Lion. I do know that Harris-Teeter was fifth and last, driving out IGA that replaced Safeway.

Is there any way to confirm the time and order everyone came in?

ETA: Found a WASHINGTON POST article that says the Giant in Purcellville opened in 2003. That's a LOT later than I'd thought. And the article says Food Lion was its only competition, thus IGA had to have folded before 2003. Other articles I found say that Food Lion closed in 2016, it was replaced by Shop N Save which closed in 2018.

My memory is obviously not what it used to be. And I really need to look for articles before starting something like this...


OK, so here's the timeline:

1960's (early?) - Safeway opens, and for decades is Purcelleville's sole chain grocery store.

1990 - Food Lion opens.
1992 - Safeway closes, IGA takes over the store either 1992 or 1993 but is gone before 2003 (probably mid-late 90's). At this point Food Lion is Purcellville's sole chain grocery store.

2003 - Giant open.
2012 - Harris-Teeter opens, Purcellville now has three chain grocery stores.
2016 - Food Lion closes, is replaced by Shop N Save that year (IIRC).
2018 - Shop N Save closes. Aldi discusses taking over half the space but in the end do not, building a new store in Leesburg. It is now Giant and Harris-Tetter only.
Last edited by Bradford011 on August 29th, 2021, 2:56 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

mjhale wrote: August 28th, 2021, 3:08 pm
BatteryMill wrote: August 27th, 2021, 10:35 pm As I've said, Publix is definitely likely to make some inroads in the core of NoVA where other chains are missing (to think, Giant-MD forms a standard grocery monopoly in some areas now especially with Shoppers and Safeway going by the wayside). Concerning the chain, however, I would like to correct you on one account. There exists only one Publix in Fredericksburg, and none are located in Dumfries/Prince William County thus far.
Personally, I think there is a question of whether we need another grocery store in the immediate Northern Virginia area. I'm not saying Publix shouldn't try. I'm all for additional competition. However, I have to wonder if Publix is thinking we'd be up against Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, Aldi, Lidl and all the various international grocery stores. Where is our place in the market? Richmond is a four way between Publix, Kroger, Food Lion and Walmart. Stafford and Fredericksburg are Publix, Walmart, Giant and Shoppers in Stafford. But the DC area has intense grocery competion. I'm not sure Publix is used to battling it out among many competitors as it seems that they are used to being top dog and rolling over everyone else. I agree with you that Publix is likely to go after certain areas of DC/Baltimore and not doing a major expansion of multiple stores. If they see success in those stores or they force a weaker competitor out that may open the door for them to expand further.

Also, thanks for the note about the Galloway Shop Rite. Looking at the pictures on Google Maps aside from some Shop Rite signage in the front end and the aisle markers they store looks to be vintage Giant-MD Fresh Ideas, Great Values store design. The store must have opened just before or right with the Ahold buyout. At the time of the buyout the Super G stores weren't even ten years old so none of them would have been up for any sort of remodel. I had friends in the Philly area when the Ahold buyout happened. I was able to visit all of the old Super G locations except the one in downtown Trenton, NJ and this one in Galloway, NJ. Even with their new operators or transfer to Ahold's Stop and Shop everything was vintage Giant-MD neon from the 1990s. The only exception I knew of at the time was the store along US 202 near King of Prussia. It was this weird hybrid between physical design between Giant-MD and Giant-PA and the interior design was pretty simple Fresh Ideas, Great Values type department markers. This store was under construction when Ahold bought Giant-MD so the FTC allowed Ahold to open the as a Super G. It only lasted 18 months or so and closed. Last I saw the building was split between several other stores. It is too bad that Galloway, NJ is so far from DC. I'd like to take a wander through the store to see what is left of Giant-MD. I think I'm correct in saying there aren't any Fresh Ideas, Great Values Giant-MD stores left.
Exactly. I do wonder where else they've had stacked comeptition - my closest bet would have to be either Atlanta or North Carolina. Although back to the main point, Publix would have a great avenue to NoVA growth wherever Weis/the closed Food Lions have existed.

You are welcome. Said store opened in 2003, five years after the Ahold acquisition. That prototype did not go into place after the buyout, although Giant had significantly more autonomy then, so it might have been initiated by the chain itself. From what I know a few FIGV stores are still left with Giant-MD: Dale City (Center Plaza), Accokeek, and Baltimore (Parkside). Speaking of the KoP/Devon store, would it have had a more plain version of the "Fresh Ideas. Great Values." interior? That era was somewhat of a gray area in terms of design - 1999 openings such as Rehoboth Beach and King Farm still have the classic, pre-Ahold Area.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by veteran+ »

Publix has an organic approach to expansion and will NOT open in a Union shop area.

If the demographics are right for them and the distribution infrastructure is logistically sound they will eventually expand.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by mjhale »

veteran+ wrote: August 28th, 2021, 7:51 pm Publix has an organic approach to expansion and will NOT open in a Union shop area.

If the demographics are right for them and the distribution infrastructure is logistically sound they will eventually expand.
When you say Publix will not open in a union shop area do you mean an entire market or just a specific area within a market? I understand them not wanting to take over a closed store from a union operator. However in the DC/Baltimore market Giant-MD, who is unionized, is the most common grocery store in the market. Unless Publix goes for the exurbs or one of the rare places that Giant doesn't have stores they are going to encounter union operators. If not Giant, it will be Safeway or Shoppers. Depending on how much of the market Publix doesn't want to be union that might eliminate the entire DC/Baltimore area for Publix. And as I said up-thread the DC market especially has intense grocery competition. Unless Publix comes in on a Wegmans level I'm not sure that folks around here are going to be that interested.
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