Hoa Nguyen

Hoa Nguyen has reported on A&P’s bankruptcy starting from when company lawyers opened their case in White Plains on July 19, 2015. A 15-year news veteran, Nguyen has covered businesses, breaking news, crime, schools and government in three states. She has been part of lohud/The Journal News’ data journalism and reporting staff for nearly five years. Grocery shopping is one of her pastimes.

Business, Landscape

A grocery landscape evolves

Newlyweds Taylor and Anthony Aloi of Nanuet shop at the Fairway Market there. Photo by Peter Carr/lohud.

A&P’s bankruptcy resulted in tectonic shifts in the supermarket industry

The supermarket industry is already being drawn and quartered, and when A&P went defunct earlier this year competitors bickered and bargained over the properties left behind by one of the nation’s oldest supermarket chains.

Fueled in part by the sale, at unheard-of low rents, of some of the nation’s most sought-after A&P stores, the grocery landscape in the Lower Hudson Valley looks different only a few months later.

“The supermarket scene has never been so turned over,” said Martin Deitch, a White Plains-based commercial real estate broker who has been in the business for nearly 40 years. “You have the biggest turnover in retailers that I’ve ever seen.”

The local transformation comes just as the grocery industry nationwide is in the midst of a seismic shift in how people shop, what they buy, who competes for the business and even the definition of a supermarket.

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Business, Landscape

New retailers battle for A&P space

Kerry Coyne of Mount Kisco and her one-year-old-son, Isaac, at the new Stop & Shop in Mount Kisco. The store was formerly an A&P. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud

A&P’s bankruptcy triggered a feeding frenzy over every coveted square foot, the likes of which supermarkets had not seen since the financial crisis of 2008.

Supermarket competitors and real estate professionals, who last had the opportunity to expand into new locations seven years ago, were more than eager to review lease terms for some of the A&P locations.

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Demographics, Venues

When a market is too far away

Jose Guillen, 25, stocks the shelves at C-Town Supermarket in Tarrytown. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud

Some areas are considered ‘supermarket deserts,’ but how far you live from a grocery store does not always correspond to how healthy you eat

Haverstraw is a “supermarket desert” in the eyes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but Rockland County nutritionist Michelle Kleinman sees the village more as a food swamp teeming with unhealthy temptations.

“There’s an overabundance of high-energy food,” Kleinman said. “Corner stores advertise beer, soda, high-energy and high-calorie snacks. You have to look and search for the healthier items.”

The village is one of several so-called supermarket deserts in the Lower Hudson Valley, low-income neighborhoods where most residents live a mile or more from the nearest supermarket. Using grocery industry and Census data from 2010, the USDA also identified Spring Valley, Monsey, Patterson and parts of Yorktown as supermarket deserts.

Jose Guillen, 25, has worked at C-Town Supermarket in Tarrytown for three years. Photo by Tania Savyan/lohud.

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Business, Culture

Ethnic markets find their niche

Yitty Deutsch of Monsey bags onions at Evergreen Kosher market in Monsey. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud

Ethnic supermarkets are gaining loyal customers, shoppers in search of quality food, and a wider variety

Operators of the Evergreen Kosher supermarket could sense an opportunity in Monsey a few years ago as they prepared to open in a space previously occupied by Pathmark.

The fact that the market would sell kosher food wasn’t particularly unique. There were other kosher markets nearby. But the stores seemed outdated and weren’t keeping up with the demands of the modern kosher shopper, said A.J. Jordan, Evergeen’s chief marketing officer.

“With the Jewish community growing, I don’t know if it was effectively servicing the community,” he said.

So Evergreen, which has a motto of “Shop Happy,” set out to be different. It not only offered a wide variety of products and amenities, such as a bake shop, personalized butcher and an extra-large section of prepared and ready-to-cook foods, it did so inside a sleek, 30,000-square-foot, modern store.

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