Sunday, February 28, 2016

Quickie: A comparison of two supermarkets that once belonged to A&P

Note to my readers: Today's reference to being transgender is a very minor part of this post.

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I live up hill from a former A&P, and can drive 5 minutes to another former A&P in Peekskill.  And if you didn't know that these markets were once affiliated with each other, you wouldn't believe it because of how different they look now.

The former A&P in Croton is now affiliated with Foodtown, while the one in Peekskill is affiliated with Key Food.  (I'm not going to discuss the ones now affiliated with Stop & Shop or ACME, as they are part of larger organizations which have the money to immediately make the places look like they were always part of their new chains.)  I shop en-femme at the Foodtown down the hill from me, while I reserve my en-homme shopping for the Shoprite in Croton, or the Key Food in Peekskill, as I'm in the Foodtown too often to risk being seen en-homme.

The Foodtown is organized much like the old A&P, but has been cleaned up, purged of 99.9% of its former A&P heritage and is undergoing incremental, non-disruptive change. The new owners are trying to make their changes as comfortable to their customers, while preserving what made this store a profitable outlet.  Contrast this with the Key Food in Peekskill.  This store has about 1/3 of its space blocked off, and not available for use. They still do not have a beer license, and the areas of the store formerly dedicated to beer is now being used for dairy aisle products - in addition to the area which was once used for dairy. In fact, there are places which I found traces of the old A&P heritage in my most recent visit: (1) above the check out area, where the "welcome to A&P" was still present in the paint job, and (2) some straggler A&P merchandise still on the shelves.  This store seems run down, and ready to be closed again.

What is the difference here?  Could it be that the Croton clientele be profitable enough to have kept that store open, and the City of Peekskill having to give a hidden subsidy to Key Food to reopen the Peekskill outlet? I have no idea. But if I were a betting person, I figure that Key Food may not last the year in its new outlet....    


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