A&P to Super Fresh/Farmer Jack

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Dave
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A&P to Super Fresh/Farmer Jack

Post by Dave » 06 Jan 2006 22:33

In Richmond, the last gasp of A&P was the conversion of some their remaining stores to Super Fresh and some to Farmer Jack. There didn't seem to be particular rhyme or reason to which was which - size, age, neighborhood/demographics really didn't make a difference.

Did they do this anywhere else? Anyone know why they'd split into two different brand names in one market?

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Post by Groceteria » 07 Jan 2006 00:48

Per an article I read a while back, I think they converted (or were planning to convert) one or two stores in Raleigh to Farmer Jack very late in the game there too...

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Post by danielh_512 » 07 Jan 2006 04:53

A&P renamed all their Mid-Atlantic stores SuperFresh starting in the mid-80's. It was originally done in Philadelphia to get a lower wage in the union contract, without changing formats. All the stores in MD were renamed SuperFresh soon after.

As for Farmer Jack, it was a Detroit name that got brought a lot of places, in Virginia. Harrisonburg, VA had 2 A&P's in the 1990's, an A&P FutureStore in Dukes Plaza that was a SuperFresh, and a store on Market St. that was older that got branded Farmer Jack.

Farmer Jack also was placed on Safeway stores in Utah. How that happened, I'll never know.

When did A&P pull out of Richmond? They were out of Virginia in 2000, their last stores in the state were in Northern Virginia, the southernmost being Culpeper (the same as Safeway's southern terminus after leaving Richmond in 1991).

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Post by Dave » 07 Jan 2006 12:28

A&P pulled out of Richmond in early 1999 (announced pullout in December, 1998).

At the time, it was announced that Food Lion had purchased the 10 remaining Richmond locations and that three would reopen by the summer as Food Lions, but I'm not sure where those locations were. I do know that the A&P/Super Fresh/Farmer Jack nearest me eventually became an interior design store, and that the location I used to frequent in college was torn down and rebuilt as a Ukrop's grocery, so at least two of the 10 never became Food Lion and one, in fact, went to the competition.

apteafan

The New Farmer Jack

Post by apteafan » 18 Jan 2006 11:13

The Farmer Jack name is currently on 75 stores in Michigan. After wage concessions, A&P is sticking by these super stores. They are expected to breakeven this year, a good sign.

Farmer Jack is a Michigan supermarket institution and an important part of the A&P family of companies.

Other posts very well explained the origins of Superfresh. With the fresh market concept being transferred to most of the A&P chain, be on the lookout for SuperFresh Markets in the near future.

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Re: The New Farmer Jack

Post by Dave » 18 Jan 2006 11:45

apteafan wrote:The Farmer Jack name is currently on 75 stores in Michigan. After wage concessions, A&P is sticking by these super stores. They are expected to breakeven this year, a good sign.

Farmer Jack is a Michigan supermarket institution and an important part of the A&P family of companies.

Other posts very well explained the origins of Superfresh. With the fresh market concept being transferred to most of the A&P chain, be on the lookout for SuperFresh Markets in the near future.
I don't know how A&P runs Superfresh or Farmer Jack's in other places. In Richmond, anyway, the Farmer Jack's stores were anything but super stores or high-end, and Superfresh was even less so - definitely not so super and not so fresh.

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Re: The New Farmer Jack

Post by Groceteria » 18 Jan 2006 13:02

Dave wrote:I don't know how A&P runs Superfresh or Farmer Jack's in other places. In Richmond, anyway, the Farmer Jack's stores were anything but super stores or high-end, and Superfresh was even less so - definitely not so super and not so fresh.
Granted, A&P's stores today (in the markets where they still exist at all) are a good bit nicer than they were several years ago.

In Raleigh, Richmond, and Charlotte, though, the name/format changes near the end seemed to be merely a last-ditch effort to regain some market share and credibility in areas where they hadn't opened new stores -- nor invested much in older ones -- in over a decade. At some point in the 1980s, A&P realized that the fabled name had become more of a liability than an asset, at least in some regions. Unfortuntely, the band-aid approach and assorted name/format changes didn't help. A shiny, new Farmer Jack sign hung over a dingy, old store in a decrepit shopping center is no real improvment.

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Post by danielh_512 » 19 Jan 2006 01:24

The new SuperFresh stores I've visited in the Baltimore area are some of the nicest supermarkets around. The prices are no worse than Giant or Safeway (In some cases, even a little better), the produce area where the deli and bakery are features a wide-open ceiling w/a skylight visible to the outside. Elegant, modern superstores. If A&P had this store in the markets they've left, they might be a lot stronger today. They finally get it, and it sure took them a while.

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Post by Dave » 28 Jan 2006 10:16

Dave wrote:A&P pulled out of Richmond in early 1999 (announced pullout in December, 1998).

At the time, it was announced that Food Lion had purchased the 10 remaining Richmond locations and that three would reopen by the summer as Food Lions, but I'm not sure where those locations were. I do know that the A&P/Super Fresh/Farmer Jack nearest me eventually became an interior design store, and that the location I used to frequent in college was torn down and rebuilt as a Ukrop's grocery, so at least two of the 10 never became Food Lion and one, in fact, went to the competition.
One of the old Farmer Jack locations just reopened as a Food Lion this month after being renovated and expanded. Why it took eight years isn't known to me.

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