Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Duper?

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jpkube

Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Duper?

Post by jpkube » 26 Jun 2006 19:31

Anybody remember the Bells Supermarkets or Super Duper stores that were in western New York? I grew up across Lake Ontario from Rochester and remember these stores from visits to NY. Of course I remember Wegmans and Tops too, but Bells and Super Duper seemed to have disappeared. Anybody know what happened to them?

rich
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Post by rich » 27 Jun 2006 09:48

Super Duper was a coop supplied by Flickinger, which was acquired by one of the bigger wholesalers (Fleming, I believe), during the 80s. They had stores as far South/West as Columbus, Ohio during the 60s & 70s. Super Duper products also turned up at small chains and independents in Cleveland that never used the Super Duper name for their stores. Burt Flickinger, the oft-quoted industry consultant is a descendent of the Flickinger family.

John Michael
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Post by John Michael » 28 Aug 2006 23:26

rich wrote:Super Duper was a coop supplied by Flickinger, which was acquired by one of the bigger wholesalers (Fleming, I believe), during the 80s. They had stores as far South/West as Columbus, Ohio during the 60s & 70s. Super Duper products also turned up at small chains and independents in Cleveland that never used the Super Duper name for their stores. Burt Flickinger, the oft-quoted industry consultant is a descendent of the Flickinger family.
I remember both a Bells Market and a Super Duper Market in Le Roy, New York back when I lived there in the early 1980's. I also believe that there was a Bells Market in nearby Batavia.
Michael

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Post by Transit Road » 08 Sep 2006 18:57

Bells Supermarkets seemed to be a mix of corporate stores and franchises. The stores in Erie County and Niagara County, NY seemed to be corporate stores with some standardization, but the stores in the more rural areas seemed to be franchises.

Bells' stores rivaled Tops (before the Ahold takeover) and even performed well against Wegman's entry into the market in 1977. Bells stores were large and modern in the Buffalo metro area. Many innovations took place at their stores n this market - in store ATM's, Ticketmaster/Ticketron outlets, the high, wide and narrow shopping carts, scanners, great delis and bakeries, plus great prices. it didn't hurt that ther were, and still are, many food producing and food procesing areas throughout Western New York.

Newer Bells Supermarkets were large - 50,000+ square feet in 1976 and 1977. In the mid-1970's Bells opened a large store on Transit Road in Williamsville and shortly thereafter Tops opened a new store at Transit and Maple. Then Bells moved across the street from Tops, also at Transit and Maple. The Tops built a newer, larger store next to the slightly older store at Maple & Transit, Bells took over took over the Park Edge Supermarket chain with a location at nearby Main St. & Transit Road, so there were many choices for food and low prices due to the competition. Wegman's also opened a store at this intersection just north of Bells not much later. This was all within a trade area of less than 3 miles.

Bells declared bankruptcy in 1992 and the locations have been diivided up and turned in to new retail outlets. The recession at the time did not help a low margin business in a highly competitive market.

There also seemed to be some connection between Loblaws and Bells - some former Loblaws stores became No-Frills ouitlets (Loblaw's attempt to be a warehouse type store) and later Bells Supermarkets. Also Loblaw's distribution center/warehouse in South Buffalo became Peter J. Schmidtt's distribution center and warehouse. At certain points, it was signed with Peter J. Schmidtt's logo and at other times Bells' logo.

There were good stores in a metro area with a declining poulation and intense competition.

The Super Duper at Sheridan and Evans Roads was always small and dirty. Across the street on another corner was a small Loblaws that did not last very long. Bells and Wegmans in that area did well though. Wegmans is still there right behind Georgetown Square.

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Post by drpep » 10 May 2007 21:40

Transit Road wrote:Bells declared bankruptcy in 1992 and the locations have been diivided up and turned in to new retail outlets. The recession at the time did not help a low margin business in a highly competitive market.
Didn't a lengthy battle between stores in the Rochester area with triple couponing contribute to Bells trouble and become the final downfall of Bells and another chain in Rochester?
Also does anyone know if Bells was ever in Ithaca, NY? Just south of the city on Rt 13 is a small building with a Bells (orange with the Bells inside a bell) sign out front. I believe the building now houses a used book business, one of many businesses to locate there since the 90's. I do remember it being a food retailer in the 80's


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rich
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Post by rich » 11 May 2007 11:50

Peter J. Schmidt was a different part of the Loblaw/George Weston empire from the retail stores, so Loblaw indirectly remained in the market after it closed its stores.

paysh
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Super Duper

Post by paysh » 12 May 2007 09:38

There was a Super Duper on the corner of Hoffman and Gray Streets in Elmira. It was a fairly small store, then was expanded. My friend Anne called it the "Super Dirty", which was a pretty reasonable description.

It closed in the 80's, was demolished and a convenience store sits in its place.

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Post by Swampcrone » 08 Sep 2007 12:42

The Bells that went into the former Hengerer's at Sheridan/ Delaware (around 1984) was a "Bells Bazaar" that was supposed to be a prototype for future stores. It was larger and had many of the services that were uncommon at the time: dry cleaning, video rental, & a Swiss Chalet restaurant. It was serious competition to the scary Super Duper (across the street which is now a Sears Hardware location) and to the Tops a block away (which became a Vix and is now a Save A Lot).

The Bells stores were eventually sold out to Quality Markets. Over time many locations were closed (the one at Delaware & Sheridan has since been torn down and replaced with a strip plaza). The only Bells/ Quality market left in the area is in Williamsville. The remainder of the stores are in rural locations.

Bells also had a secondary chain of stores for the "smaller" stores- there was one in Fredonia.

Super Duper became Jubilee Markets. There are still stores scattered in the Erie/ Niagara County areas but not the market force that Tops/ Wegmans is. The Kenmore Avenue (Buffalo) location was closed and is now a Budweys market.

dbefford
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Du

Post by dbefford » 15 Dec 2012 13:41

there were Super Dupers in central ,Ma. (ware,Ma. ) circa mid 1960`s. Trifilo`s Super Markets took them over, then after they sold out, most became IGA`s.

paysh
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Du

Post by paysh » 17 Dec 2012 09:34

We had a few Super Duper stores in the Elmira and Horseheads area. It seems to me that the name Fortin's was somehow associated with the store on Gray and Hoffman Streets in Elmira. That store was expanded shortly before I left the area in the mid 1980s. The next time I was in towm, the store had been demolished and a convenience store was in its place.

umtrr-author
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Du

Post by umtrr-author » 20 Dec 2012 11:57

When I lived very close to the Lake Ontario shoreline, the closest supermarket to me was a Bells which was across the Genesee River in Irondequoit. It's now an IGA, possibly without a change in ownership but I'm not sure about that. I shopped there semi-regularly.

There was also a Bells in the large plaza on Titus Avenue in Irondequoit (not far from the famous House of Guitars). It folded not long after Wegmans put a large store in the same plaza, and I believe but I'm not sure that the space is now occupied by a Big Lots.

The fourth supermarket chain that was involved in the Great Coupon Wars might have been Star Markets. I hear about that chain from time to time but I think it was gone by the time I moved up to the Rochester area in 1989.

I don't recall any Super Duper in the immediate area of where I lived. I think they were more in the second rings of suburbs from the city, and in more rural areas. It's possible that there were some in the city itself.

BillyGr
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Du

Post by BillyGr » 20 Dec 2012 23:20

umtrr-author wrote:The fourth supermarket chain that was involved in the Great Coupon Wars might have been Star Markets. I hear about that chain from time to time but I think it was gone by the time I moved up to the Rochester area in 1989.
After seeing this post, I was wondering if there was any connection of this Star Markets with the ones around the Albany area (it looks like there isn't, which makes at least THREE different store chains using this name in this part of the country, the 3rd being the more known one in the Boston area now owned by Shaws).

Anyhow, I found this post:
http://blog.timesunion.com/colonie/star ... ribute/801
It mostly refers to the Albany area locations, but there are 5 or 6 replies that mention the Rochester area stores as well, which might give you a bit more info and/or contacts if interested.

umtrr-author
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Du

Post by umtrr-author » 28 Dec 2012 10:15

Thanks for that link! There are several Star Markets locations in the Rochester area mentioned in the comments even though the main topic is the Albany-area stores. It is noted that the Rochester and Albany locations weren't related.

Davesworld56
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Re: Anyone remember/know about Bells Supermarket or Super Duper?

Post by Davesworld56 » 07 Oct 2016 17:44

I grew up as a kid in the 70's shopping at the Horseheads, NY Super Duper. They moved in the 80's sometime to a plaza that was built just for them. Shortly after that the store changed its name to Jubilee. The store in Horseheads, at least, was offered to be bought out as a franchise to the Store Manager. He took the offer.

I have great memories of Super Duper because they had a nice toy section, and they offered Halloween Costumes ever October. If I recall they were Collegeville brand. I bought my costume there some years, and at Woolworths other years.

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