When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

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Ephrata1966
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When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Jul 2010 13:32

This style of A&P I heard was from 1954, before the official "Centennial" period. I know all of these A&Ps closed before 1982, before most of the Philadelphia division. And few of them were near a later A&P. This design must have been used some other areas. And perhaps there was a big phase out of these stores?

Philadelphia: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N ... 871522417/

Chester, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/3561667830/

Abington, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/3514725238/

Bryn Mawr, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/2886356183/

Media, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/4040859835/

Allentown, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N ... 563434732/

Allentown, PA (2): http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N ... 563434732/

Lansdowne, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/3940036482/

Yeadon, PA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/2897310555/

The last two may have both been replaced by this store: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/2897288875/

Photo credits to joshaustin610 of course.

dooneyt63
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by dooneyt63 » 18 Jul 2010 14:42

This is probably not a 1954 design. There has been some prior discussion on another thread about the retrofit of existing buildings to the centennial design. These are prime examples of the better quality retrofit. Many were just done with lapboard siding. Most of these likely dated from the mid-1940's-mid-1950's and were urban stores built close to the sidewalk/street line. They probably had the flat brick front with the little peaked roof effect and center gable with the circular sign with long bars of red on left and right. Keeping so many old style close-to-the-street limited parking small stores helped spell A&P's demise in many markets. The renovations would have been done 1959 and after.

Ephrata1966
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Jul 2010 23:31

Well in any case, they were all among the first A&Ps to close in the region. They would have closed no later than 1974.

Perhaps some "barrel roof" stores were built in 1954? Check out the unnamed Toyota dealership in Newark, DE for an example. It appears to have been given an early Centennial treatment around 1959-1960.

Here is a 1951 design. Note the "package store" department: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/S ... opping.jpg

That looks awfully like this store, which to my knowledge was never an A&P. There was a Food Fair in this tiny center. But it was built in 1951, and I don't know what was there before Loehmann's opened in the later 60's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/4719219869/

I also have to wonder when this A&P was expanded and given the current remodel/logo: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_246OMBI86f8/S ... nce_13.jpg

And a frontal photo. 1976?: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_246OMBI86f8/S ... nce_12.jpg

dooneyt63
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by dooneyt63 » 19 Jul 2010 20:24

Correct on the 1974 date. A wave of A&P closings in all divisions took place during the 1970-1975 period. Some stores were replaced with newer ones, some newer ones were closed leaving older ones, and some markets were demoted from several stores to one. This was the aftermath of price competition and the failed WEO initiative. It was during this time that so many A&P stores disappeared from the landscape, and the chain's ubiquitousness was really scaled back.

That store remodel in New Providence which obviously wraps, expands, and mansards an existing centennial probably dates from the late 1970's. Remember that the 1980's were a very turbulent period for the company, and few new stores were built until late in the decade in a catch-up attempt.

Ephrata1966
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 19 Jul 2010 21:21

I don't know about other places, but the vast majority of Philadelphia/Baltimore/DC A&Ps all closed in 1982. And it took a union deal to create Super Fresh, which was a gradual process. A&P has re-opened empty stores again in recent years. The empty Super Fresh in Roxborough/Philadelphia was demolished after a few years for a brand new Super Fresh. I heard about a Super Fresh in Maryland that had already closed before it became a Pathmark Sav-a-Center. A&P even did this despite an offer by ShopRite. Only a handful of these A&Ps became Super Fresh, which has closed plenty of stores since.

A&P continued to operate under their name in Northeastern Pennsylvania even later, until 1993. Check out the Centennial turned Fay's/Eckerd and now Rite Aid in Lehighton, near Jim Thorpe.

The New Providence store, by the way, is finally closing (relocating?) but is being replaced by an A&P Fresh. Ironically, they are tearing down an older Acme for the new store.
Last edited by Ephrata1966 on 19 Jul 2010 22:14, edited 1 time in total.

rich
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by rich » 19 Jul 2010 21:43

A&P also had a small, cutdown version of the centennial that was a bout 13K sf. It often was used in urban areas and small towns and often close to the street--they were building like this well into the 60s. Before centennials, they often the same way, with an entry on the side near the parking lot. There's a store like this on Vine St in Willoughby, Ohio that was constructed just before the centennial era. It had the circle and "wings" logo. It's now a post office.

A&P also used corrugated metal (usually silver) with the circle and wings during the 50s in urban shopping blocks. There were very few stores like this and few even in pics. There was one on E 185th St near Pawnee Avenue in Cleveland. It dated from the late 30s and was dark with the old upright dairy cases (which went out somewhere in the early 50s). It competed with two other late 30s stores (Fisher & Pick-n-Pay), both of which had updated their equipment and were brighter. A&P had updated the exterior, but not the interior--it closed in the late 60s; Pick-n-Pay had relocated and an indie had taken over the old store and expanded it, successfully killing the A&P. Fisher kept the old store going into the 80s. For several decades, the A&P was a credit furniture store. Now it's empty.

werememberretail
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by werememberretail » 19 Jul 2010 22:58

dooneyt63 wrote:Correct on the 1974 date. A wave of A&P closings in all divisions took place during the 1970-1975 period. Some stores were replaced with newer ones, some newer ones were closed leaving older ones, and some markets were demoted from several stores to one. This was the aftermath of price competition and the failed WEO initiative. It was during this time that so many A&P stores disappeared from the landscape, and the chain's ubiquitousness was really scaled back.

That store remodel in New Providence which obviously wraps, expands, and mansards an existing centennial probably dates from the late 1970's. Remember that the 1980's were a very turbulent period for the company, and few new stores were built until late in the decade in a catch-up attempt.
Actually I must correct you. The 1980s were a time of relative prosperity for A&P. Sure there were problems early on in the early part but by 1984 the Tea Company under the leadership of legendary CEO James Wood, got its act together, in the years leading up (1982-1983) they relaunched the once dead Philadelphia division as Superfresh they took over Stop&Shop's early New Jersey stores and launched the SavACenters, then in 1984 they launched the Futurestores by 1987 it, having remodled many older stores,and having taken over a number of regional chanes was riding high, and comtinued so until 1991

dooneyt63
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by dooneyt63 » 20 Jul 2010 21:35

I was mostly referring to the early decade turbulence coming off the 1970's James Woods was brought on board to correct. From the Super Fresh and Futurestore initiatives forward were good times for A&P. I remember the articles touting their comeback in Time and Fortune. These moves were what I was referring to as late decade catch-up. It actually started a little earlier; I stand corrected. It was a hasty post, and I didn't think through the dates that clearly.

Ephrata1966
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 20 Jul 2010 21:54

How has any period since even the early 70's been "good" for A&P, when they never stopped closing stores?

rich
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by rich » 20 Jul 2010 23:14

Take another look at the posts. They sold stores and entire divisions in the 70s. That gave them the capital to buy and build stores in the 80s.

Ephrata1966
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 20 Jul 2010 23:43

I still think the period from 1969-2009 was not pretty. Back then they called it A Mart, then they called it Super Fresh, now they call it Pathmark Sav-a-Center. At one time they even called it Futurestore. But I call it corruption. Their countless closings should be evidence enough.

maynesG
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by maynesG » 21 Jul 2010 18:06

Hi, The store in Chester became a Shop & Bag, then a Thriftway and then for a time converted to Flemings small store banner American Family it closed in the mid 1990!s
The Media store closed as an A&P and quickly became a Thriftway
out lasting a downtown Acme Location ( Yes Acme has had two Media Mall locations) It stayed open untill the early 1990!s and was a money maker to the end. Rite aide wanted the store and actualy paid the owner a substantial bonus to get out. His son got a store with Rite Aid
and the old man got a job with Fleming. The crew was given the opportunity of finding work at Christmas time!
The Newark Toyota store across from the Post Office was and A&P it closed when the Pathmark opened down the street about the same time the Acme closed in The Newark Shopping Plaza around the corner.
Both Acme and A&P had other locations in town and did not believe that there was enough business to support both locations and the Pathmark.
Funny, The Super Fresh on New London Road is still doing fine. Acmes second best store in the company is on Elkton Road ( a Replacement for the original Elkton Road store) The Bear Acme is two miles away and does about 600,000 thousand per week'
A&P closed and conveted a second Newark store in Glasgow De
and now has three units four miles a part
,.

krogerclerk
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by krogerclerk » 24 Jul 2010 17:16

Ephrata1966 wrote:I still think the period from 1969-2009 was not pretty. Back then they called it A Mart, then they called it Super Fresh, now they call it Pathmark Sav-a-Center. At one time they even called it Futurestore. But I call it corruption. Their countless closings should be evidence enough.
As far as I know, A&P was never a victim of corruption, but rather mismanagement which included(includes) poor site selection, heavy reliance on private label to the extent that at times the national brand was not offered along with some of the highest labor costs as a percentage of sales in the grocery industry. The large manufacturing base that A&P once owned needed high volumes to make the operations profitable, leading A&P to offer their brands over national brands and keeping stores opened that should have closed to maintain volume at their plants and distribution centers.

The 1970's were a difficult period for A&P, WEO(Where Economy Originates or Warehouse Economy Operation) and the A-Mart discount format were unsuccessful in the long run. German chain Tengelmann acquired majority control of the stock when the Hartford Foundation placed its shares on the market. The company brought in James Wood to turn things around. A semi-successful format that arose from this was The Family Mart Food&Drug, a combination store very similar to the Skaggs Albertson's stores that Woods had experienced at Albertson's. The format was used in the lower southern states, but never heavily rolled out beyond Florida.

By the 80's, after the chain had shrunk from almost 4500 stores a decade earlier to less than 1000 units, cash flow improved to the point that A&P had money to invest in stores which resulted in the FutureStore and Sav-a-Center formats and acquisitions. While SuperFresh was about reducing labor costs to save the Philadelphia and Baltimore divisions, A&P acquired Kohl's, Dominion, Shopwell and Waldbaum's to consolidate its position in NYC and return to Wisconsin. For the most part these were successful moves at the time. By the end of the decade, Farmer Jack, was added. The traditional A&P base continued to shrink and the Florida Family Marts were sold leaving a few still open in AL, GA, and SC, which survived until the Charlotte and Atlanta divisions were closed in the late 90's. Shopwell include the Food Emporium chain and along with Waldbaum's allowed A&P to again become the leading supermarket in the NYC metro.

In the 90's, troubles returned, but were masked by continued expansion. Grand Union pulled out of Atlanta by selling the Big Star chain to A&P. Later in the decade, the Schwegmann's chain of New Orleans was absorbed into the New Orleans division and the stores converted to Sav-a-Center,except for a couple of smaller stores keeping the A&P name. Schwegmann's had acquired the New Orleans division of National supermarkets when Loblaw's sold the chain to Schnuck's and was left heavily indebted. Every division in the South but New Orleans was closed by the end of the decade.

With the new century, more problems followed. A weak presence in New England was eliminated. Kohl's and Farmer Jack had lost their luster, becoming unprofitable leading to their liquidation. The profitable Canadian operation was sold to Metro for a cash infusion. Food Basics was introduced in the Farmer Jack division but didn't turn things around. The New Orleans division soldiered on past Katrina until the sale of the stores to Rouses and Breaux Mart. The Pathmark acquisition has continued to be a drag on earnings despite returning A&P back to market leader in NYC and the promised economies of scale that would be achieved in the NYC and Philly regions.

A&P, Montgomery Ward, and Woolworth's are examples of how long it can take large corporations, particularly retail, to decline and fade, achieving false starts and turn arounds along the way. A&P and Sears/KMart are still around while Woolworth's and Montgomery Wards are gone, with all but Wards having ranked as the largest retailer at some point in the history of the last 100 years.

Ephrata1966
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 24 Jul 2010 17:39

Well perhaps instead of "corruption" I meant sheer mismanagement.

Do any of these companies sound similar to the ones you described? Albertsons, Eckerd, Howard Johnson's, Texaco, Mobil, GM, and Chrysler all had major "meltdowns" to name a few.

maynesG
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Re: When did these A&Ps close? Were any of them replaced?

Post by maynesG » 25 Jul 2010 05:47

Hi, Who knows what A&P will do. But this past Friday they disposed of thier seven month old
Company President that they had brougth in from the outside. They have already replaced him with a new hire with great ideas from another chain. So it goes!

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