Category Archives: Business

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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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 But the stores seemed outdated and weren’t keeping up with the demands of the modern kosher shopper, said A.J. Jordan, Evergeen’s chief marketing officer.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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Business, Venues

Local chains cultivate customer loyalty

A woman tends the blueberries at Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud

A look at three regional supermarket success stories: Turco’s, Stew Leonard’s, DeCicco’s

Michael Powell has a simple rule: Every store needs a story.

Powell works at the Los Angeles-based research and design firm Shook Kelley, helping markets sharpen their skills and define themselves: to tell their story.

“I think, in the past, it had become acceptable to say ‘We’re just running a grocery store. This is a big business operation and we happen to be selling food,’” Powell says. “I don’t think that’s acceptable, anymore. I think people want to believe that you have some kind of passion for food.”

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Business, Culture

After A&P: You are where you shop

Two-year-old Alexandra Chang holds on to blueberry waffles, her favorite breakfast choice, as her babysitter Taeko Reilly of Chappaqua, shops for bread at DeCicco & Sons in Armonk. Photo by Tania Savayan/lohud

These changes are more than real-estate transactions. They highlight the relationship shoppers have with their supermarkets

Chestnut Ridge’s Cathy Murphy thought she was in her supermarket, but she was wrong.

“I knew something was happening with A&P, but I didn’t even realize when I walked in that it was a different store,” she said. “Then I saw they didn’t have the self-checkout and I was like, ‘What is going on?’”

What was going on was that Murphy’s A&P, just across the New Jersey line in Woodcliff Lake, had become an Acme supermarket last month without her noticing. And Acme doesn’t use self-checkout aisles.

Gone was her A&P’s growing selection of organic food to which Murphy had become accustomed, in aisles she had navigated for nearly a decade. Things weren’t where they used to be.

What is going on across the Lower Hudson Valley is a dizzying and seismic shift in the local supermarket landscape, as dozens of bankrupt A&P stores have changed hands seemingly overnight to become Key Foods or Acmes or, in at least one high-profile case in Yonkers, a grocery-selling CVS.

These changes are more than real-estate transactions. They bring to light the primal and personal relationship shoppers have with their supermarkets.

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Business, Culture

Cult followings


Wegmans’ floral department in Rochester. Photo by Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Rabid fans of Trader Joe’s and Wegmans flock to their favorite stores

Mention their name in the right company and you’ll trigger wistful, faraway looks or breathless salivation: Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.

“I love Wegmans!” says Karen Parish of Pound Ridge. “My daughter goes to Cornell and she’s bringing me something back from Wegmans when she comes back from school. They have a stir-fry sauce that is unbelievable! I told her to bring me back three bottles. I called her and said, ‘Don’t forget to go to Wegmans!’”

When Parish heard the A&P in Mount Kisco was closing, she hoped it would become a Wegmans. (Turns out, it was sold to the highest bidder, Stop&Shop, for $25 million, the most lucrative sale in the bankrupty liquidation.)

“Their food is unbelievable, so fresh. I sometimes shop at Fairway in Stamford because I live on the border. But it’s no Wegmans.”

Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s inspires people to drive long distances to stock up on supplies of frozen and packaged goods.

While Wegmans stores are huge and Trader Joe’s are deliberately smaller, both supermarket chains have avid, some might say rabid, fan bases who crave a store in their neighborhood.

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