Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

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mjhale
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: August 28th, 2021, 6:17 pm 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.
Here is a 1998 article discussing Fresh Ideas, Great Values that says it was under development for a year before the Ahold purchase. After Izzy Cohen died the company went to the 1224 Corporation. 1224 was run by Pete Manos and two other long time deputies of Izzy Cohen. I'm guess based on what you've said that the actual Fresh Ideas, Great Values interior was developed during and after the sale to Ahold? None of the Giant stores I shopped at in the late 1990s had Fresh Ideas, Great Values. They either had 1990s neon or the pre-neon package. It was only until the stores in western Fairfax County started to get remodeled away from the neon in the very early 2000s did I encounter Fresh Ideas, Great Values. I'm thinking by now, nearly 25 years later, that any Fresh Ideas, Great Values interior store might not be around for much longer, All of the others I knew of either got remodeled or were closed with Fresh Ideas, Great Values - Burke Lake Road and Hayfield Road being two that closed with Fresh Ideas, Great Values. Incidentally, the Parkside Baltimore location looks to have had a remodel based on pictures on Google Maps. The other two you mention are still stuck in 25 years ago...

The Devon, PA store wasn't like any Giant I had been in even Rehoboth and King Farm. The right side of the store had a "grand aisle" as some call it with produce, deli, service meat and service fish. The left side of said aisle had the salad bar and cold prepared foods. Hot to go foods like pizza, chicken wings, etc were with the deli, etc on the right. Back wall was milk, eggs, dairy and packaged meats. Left side was the standard Giant-MD frozen food section. The Devon store also had the cashier facing the customer which is standard now instead of facing forward towards the conveyor belt as Giant has always been set up. The Devon location was closest to where my friends lived at the time. Solid, well built, spotless store. But zero customers, ever. Every time I was in the store it seemed like me and the few employees they had. I only went in because of it being a familiar store for me coming from the DC area. Everyone else was at Super Fresh and Genaurdi's further down US 202.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by veteran+ »

mjhale wrote: August 28th, 2021, 10:31 pm
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.
Publix has a dedicated "department" (not disclosed) that analyzes the "market" or "area" or region for union activity, strength of that activity, laws regarding unions and HOW those laws are enforced. Even weak or name in only State Labor commissioners play a role for determination.

Based on those findings they may enter a market that has unions but said unions are weak or in decline or NOT supported by the law and perhaps there are no laws at all in support.

IMO......they will never enter a market that has a STRONG union, powerful Labor Commissioner, strong and enforced laws regarding unions, etc.

Publix is UBER anti union......................period.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by buckguy »

Beyond labor climate, there's the issue of how difficult it is to build/enter the DC market. Developers still have an outsized amount of political clout in the region, but the process of new development esp. in existing areas is not easy. It used to be that Prince Georges Co in MD and the Virginia jurisdictions would allow anything to be built, but that has changed in the last 25 years. The last two good sites for supers in DC were the redevelopment of the old Walter Reed campus, where Wegman's was supposedly recruited but H-T committed (after a much smaller site fell through over its outsized footprint adjacent to a residential area) and the Fannie Mae campus which snagged Wegman's. Both developments have gone through multiple iterations and negotiation with the city and neighborhood orgs. Publix face nothing like that in Atlanta, where their early stores probably had developer or local government incentives to go into redeveloping areas (I know for sure about the latter in a couple cases).

There's also the question of the market places---the competition in Atlanta was anemic--Kroger and a bunch of stragglers. H-T was the only potential competition and it self-destructed. Even now, Whole Foods and Trader Joes have not achieved the penetration I would have expected. Atlanta retail is odd--someone once told me is that retailers simply doesn't have faith in the market and so often they don't develop A-grade operations and that really does sum things up. Nashville was much like Atlanta--Kroger and not much else. HG Hill, the local, higher quality but quirky favorite left the food business for real estate and, in fact is developing shopping centers with Publix stores in them. Charlotte is probably the only sizable market where they had to compete with someone else in their segment. Anyway, DC has tremendous penetration of Whole Foods, TJs and any number of local specialty operations---MOMS and Yes! natural food stores, various ethnic markets, etc., some of which would compete to some extent with Publix. Costco has tremendous market penetration (they only have 3 in Atlanta) and they are in places Publix would want to be. There's also the resurgence of Giant now that it is run locally again---it's probably a more formidable competitor than Kroger. Harris Teeter continues to add stores even though some their locations seem like laggards. The Wegman's stores in Rockville and NW DC will take their impact on the market to a higher level---Rockville Pike is the premier retail strip on the Maryland side of the Potomac and the NW DC store will be reasonably close to northern Virginia (without NoVA sales tax on food). Publix's entry could only come if they could buy Safeway or Harris-Teeter's stores. The Shoppers locations mostly were a poor fit and Weis was too scattered to matter and mostly to the North. The Safeway stores would be a game changer, but even though Publix is known to at least some people already, they might have more difficulty with a Safeway store base than they might expect and it would give them a weak base in Montgomery County, which is a huge submarket.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by storewanderer »

buckguy wrote: August 29th, 2021, 9:42 amPublix's entry could only come if they could buy Safeway or Harris-Teeter's stores. The Shoppers locations mostly were a poor fit and Weis was too scattered to matter and mostly to the North. The Safeway stores would be a game changer, but even though Publix is known to at least some people already, they might have more difficulty with a Safeway store base than they might expect and it would give them a weak base in Montgomery County, which is a huge submarket.
For that to happen you'd have to see a Genuardi's or Dominick's-style market exit done (liquidation sales, throw out the union by closing the stores, and then market the buildings fully fixtured to competitors). I don't think that is going to happen, as that is not the way Albertsons does things. That is the way the old Safeway does things- and I think had they continued on (not merged with Albertsons) they would have likely exited Texas, then exited East, then if things really got bad for them possibly Denver. Though Denver would have been a hard sell, better to just fix operations there and get volumes up.

Maybe Publix won't try DC. I think Publix has some decisions to make as to if they want to move North or continuing to move West. Frankly, given their format, and the competitive factors on the East Coast itself, I think Publix would be better off moving West. The competitors in some of those states, are not that great, and also more familiar to Publix. I think competitors like Wegman's would wipe the floor with Publix, to be honest. The East has a lot of competition... between the Ahold chains, Wegman's, Shop Rite, various other groups. Publix may see the Albertsons-owned chains as targets given they are all rather weak (especially Safeway and Shaw's- I think Acme has closed a lot of its low volume stores) on store volumes compared to other competitors in the east, but there are a lot of existing competitors there in the east ready to take volume.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by Bradford011 »

storewanderer wrote: August 29th, 2021, 10:57 am[snip]Maybe Publix won't try DC. I think Publix has some decisions to make as to if they want to move North or continuing to move West. Frankly, given their format, and the competitive factors on the East Coast itself, I think Publix would be better off moving West.
I have to agree, Giant and Safeway are just too big to take on plus there are still a lot of smaller chains already here, especially Aldi and Lidl. I just don't see them being able to lure away enough customers to really make a go of it.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

Bradford011 wrote: August 28th, 2021, 6:16 pm
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.
Great chronological timeline, but I have some more to add.

I forget the source but Safeway dates back to as early as 1941 in Purcellville. There was also Food Lion's stint as Bloom, which ended in 2012 and was at the western frontier of the Bloom/Bottom Dollar conversions of the D.C. metro. For comparison, the Winchester/Front Royal Food Lions were not grouped into that remodel cycle. I wonder what effects those had on FL in the end.
mjhale wrote: August 28th, 2021, 11:03 pm Here is a 1998 article discussing Fresh Ideas, Great Values that says it was under development for a year before the Ahold purchase. After Izzy Cohen died the company went to the 1224 Corporation. 1224 was run by Pete Manos and two other long time deputies of Izzy Cohen. I'm guess based on what you've said that the actual Fresh Ideas, Great Values interior was developed during and after the sale to Ahold? None of the Giant stores I shopped at in the late 1990s had Fresh Ideas, Great Values. They either had 1990s neon or the pre-neon package. It was only until the stores in western Fairfax County started to get remodeled away from the neon in the very early 2000s did I encounter Fresh Ideas, Great Values. I'm thinking by now, nearly 25 years later, that any Fresh Ideas, Great Values interior store might not be around for much longer, All of the others I knew of either got remodeled or were closed with Fresh Ideas, Great Values - Burke Lake Road and Hayfield Road being two that closed with Fresh Ideas, Great Values. Incidentally, the Parkside Baltimore location looks to have had a remodel based on pictures on Google Maps. The other two you mention are still stuck in 25 years ago...

The Devon, PA store wasn't like any Giant I had been in even Rehoboth and King Farm. The right side of the store had a "grand aisle" as some call it with produce, deli, service meat and service fish. The left side of said aisle had the salad bar and cold prepared foods. Hot to go foods like pizza, chicken wings, etc were with the deli, etc on the right. Back wall was milk, eggs, dairy and packaged meats. Left side was the standard Giant-MD frozen food section. The Devon store also had the cashier facing the customer which is standard now instead of facing forward towards the conveyor belt as Giant has always been set up. The Devon location was closest to where my friends lived at the time. Solid, well built, spotless store. But zero customers, ever. Every time I was in the store it seemed like me and the few employees they had. I only went in because of it being a familiar store for me coming from the DC area. Everyone else was at Super Fresh and Genaurdi's further down US 202.
According to a Facebook photo, the "Fresh Ideas. Great Values." campaign dates back further, as early as 1995 at that. For one, that period was certainly the time 1224 Corp was developing the entire promise and adjustments to the workplace. The one thing that suggests Ahold may have influenced the FIGV experience (and take cues from Giant-PA) was a radical departure from the layouts and themes that came beforehand.

So wow... it does seem changes are in the air given Giant has rolled out another remodel wave. The aforementioned Dale City location has redevelopment plans whereas Accokeek simply seems to be languishing. I don't know if there are any others left at this time. Although I do admit, said package holds up really well and it's a shame there's nothing like it currently.

Speaking of the physical prototype itself, the first stores with the layout/an entirely new decor started appearing in 1999. (https://web.archive.org/web/20001001070 ... ress_id=35) Or with the Devon store having had such a layout similar to that of the stores that were to follow, maybe it might have been part of the previous plan they had composed.
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.
With all the chatter of Publix being aggressively anti-union, could that hint to better fortunes found within the topic area, especially as Martin's is not union (especially Bradford)? I mean, Walmart is also another major opponent of the union lifestyle and they're also the only grocers found there...
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by Bradford011 »

BatteryMill wrote: August 30th, 2021, 12:27 am
Great chronological timeline, but I have some more to add.

I forget the source but Safeway dates back to as early as 1941 in Purcellville. There was also Food Lion's stint as Bloom, which ended in 2012 and was at the western frontier of the Bloom/Bottom Dollar conversions of the D.C. metro. For comparison, the Winchester/Front Royal Food Lions were not grouped into that remodel cycle. I wonder what effects those had on FL in the end.
You're absolutely right, Safeway should be at least the 50's. I'm going to try and see if I can find out when it did open, it must have been one of the oldest stores in the area. And the Leesburg store is fairly old as well.

I had forgotten that the Purcellville Food Lion upgraded to Bloom before closing. And I didn't know the Winchester store never upgraded to Bloom nor downgraded to Bottom Dollar - when it closed Shop N Save took it over, they closed and today the store sits empty.

The only two Bottom Dollars I can think of in the local area were Sterling on Sterling Blvd, that store reverted back to a Food Lion and is one of only three remaining in Loudoun County; the other was in Manassas on Route 234, that store is now closed.

I wasn't aware that Food Lion existed in Front Royal. You learn a lot from boards like this...
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by veteran+ »

"With all the chatter of Publix being aggressively anti-union, could that hint to better fortunes found within the topic area, especially as Martin's is not union (especially Bradford)?"

I am not sure what you mean..........

Chatter? :lol:
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by BatteryMill »

Bradford011 wrote: August 30th, 2021, 6:18 am You're absolutely right, Safeway should be at least the 50's. I'm going to try and see if I can find out when it did open, it must have been one of the oldest stores in the area. And the Leesburg store is fairly old as well.

I had forgotten that the Purcellville Food Lion upgraded to Bloom before closing. And I didn't know the Winchester store never upgraded to Bloom nor downgraded to Bottom Dollar - when it closed Shop N Save took it over, they closed and today the store sits empty.

The only two Bottom Dollars I can think of in the local area were Sterling on Sterling Blvd, that store reverted back to a Food Lion and is one of only three remaining in Loudoun County; the other was in Manassas on Route 234, that store is now closed.

I wasn't aware that Food Lion existed in Front Royal. You learn a lot from boards like this...
Correct, considering the town would have likely been large enough for a standard grocery then. Just an FYI, Safeway's last building in Purcellville was constructed in 1968. It is likely that the chain had a smaller store closer to the town center. I'm surprised the Leesburg store is running the way it is considering there's larger competition out there.

Front Royal had a Food Lion/SnS conversion that remains fallow as do many in Winchester per the topic. There were definitely more Bottom Dollars in the area, but There was one in Alexandria (off of US 1, near Mount Vernon/Fort Belvoir), three in Woodbridge, and a location in Chantilly that closed just months after converting to Bottom Dollar. Interestingly those actually remodeled once they returned to Food Lion, unlike their Bloom counterparts. Hope you can certainly get to know more.
veteran+ wrote: August 30th, 2021, 6:21 am "With all the chatter of Publix being aggressively anti-union, could that hint to better fortunes found within the topic area, especially as Martin's is not union (especially Bradford)?"

I am not sure what you mean..........

Chatter? :lol:
Well of course it's a standard of Publix. Just that it's the first time it's been brought up in discussing whether the chain will move into greater Washington or not. This includes Winchester/Front Royal as a comparison point.
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Re: Winchester/Front Royal: Martin's Monopoly?

Post by veteran+ »

Oh, okay.

I just know how they think having been on the inside.

Unless leadership has adjusted their ideology.
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