Pantry Pride in Richmond, VA

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Dave
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Pantry Pride in Richmond, VA

Postby Dave » 04 Feb 2006 16:43

I was doing a little digging in the web archives of the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding Pantry Pride. I had said elsewhere in the forum (under "Greocery Stores in Real Malls" that Food Fair had had five Richmond locations that became Pantry Pride. What I didn't realize or remember was that by 1985, A&P had taken over those stores and operated them under the Pantry Pride name along with their 11 or so A&Ps under the A&P name.

In 1986, A&P was going to close their stores and struck a deal with the union, and later rebranded the stores as Super Fresh.

This has put my mind at ease regarding the Azalea Mall store in Richmond. I knew it was originally a Food Fair and later a Pantry Pride, and still later a Super Fresh. What was confusing me was that A&P had a centennial store about two blocks away that also became a Super Fresh and lasted longer than the Azalea Mall location.

Richmond is a confusing place when it comes to studying what became what. It always seems to be one of those "except" places (like Food Lion buying Hannaford, except in Richmond, which went to Kroger, or Big Star/Grand Union selling Virginia stores to Food Lion/Harris Teeter, except in Richmond, where they went to Winn-Dixie).

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Re: Pantry Pride in Richmond, VA

Postby Groceteria » 04 Feb 2006 18:01

Dave wrote:Richmond is a confusing place when it comes to studying what became what. It always seems to be one of those "except" places (like Food Lion buying Hannaford, except in Richmond, which went to Kroger, or Big Star/Grand Union selling Virginia stores to Food Lion/Harris Teeter, except in Richmond, where they went to Winn-Dixie).


Great info. Thanks. I think some companies have the same problem that some people do with Richmond. They don't know quite how to read it. Is it southern? Is it northern? Is it decaying? Is it thriving?

I, for one, love cities that defy easy categorization.

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Re: Pantry Pride in Richmond, VA

Postby Dave » 04 Feb 2006 18:16

Groceteria wrote:Great info. Thanks. I think some companies have the same problem that some people do with Richmond. They don't know quite how to read it. Is it southern? Is it northern? Is it decaying? Is it thriving?

I, for one, love cities that defy easy categorization.


There was a slogan for RIchmond, "Down where the South begins", that was used by WRVA radio at their weekly signoff until at least the 1990's. I don't know if I'd buy that anymore or not.

Richmond used to be a pretty active test market for gorceries and other items (beer in cans being the most famous), but I don't think it is any more.

Decaying or thriving? I'm not sure, and I'm a "lifer". :)

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Postby danielh_512 » 05 Feb 2006 03:49

I was just in Richmond a couple weeks ago, and I'd say it's probably decaying more than thriving. I got into Downtown Richmond, and if not for VCU, Broad St. would have been completely lifeless. Richmond in a lot of ways reminds me of Pittsburgh, an area that isn't growing at all. It seems like there's a past (which I love places with one), but that there's not any kind of bright future, which is a contrast to Pittsburgh, which really has shed their old image.

I'd agree that when you get to Richmond, it's like getting to the South. I'd almost say the Rappahannock River is the new Mason-Dixon line. The one thing with Richmond is that it's complicated. A lot of people would say this is why Ukrop's has done so well there, because they're local and they get it.

The one thing I noticed though economically was that even new areas have succumbed to white flight, and it seems a growing poverty problem. I visited Virginia Center Commons (I was at this mall when it opened in the early 90's). For a Saturday night, it was extremely quiet through most of the mall, many of the stores were catering to an urban clientele, and there was a large fight w/Police and Security outside the food court blocking the entrance. The retail around this area is all new (10 years or newer), and I've never seen a case where new retail has already starting to have problems like that. Inner-ring malls built in the 60's and 70's, all the time. Really odd case. It's a Simon-owned mall too.

I never knew W-D operated in Richmond. I knew they were in the Tidewater area, as well as Roanoke/Lynchburg.

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Postby Dave » 05 Feb 2006 11:48

danielh_512 wrote:...The one thing I noticed though economically was that even new areas have succumbed to white flight, and it seems a growing poverty problem. I visited Virginia Center Commons (I was at this mall when it opened in the early 90's). For a Saturday night, it was extremely quiet through most of the mall, many of the stores were catering to an urban clientele, and there was a large fight w/Police and Security outside the food court blocking the entrance. The retail around this area is all new (10 years or newer), and I've never seen a case where new retail has already starting to have problems like that. Inner-ring malls built in the 60's and 70's, all the time. Really odd case. It's a Simon-owned mall too...


I don't think it's "white flight" or creeping poverty casusing problems at Virginia Center Commons. The census data just doesn't bear that out; the flight and poverty creep occurred long before the mall was built and hasn't increased in the area particularly lately. I'd say it's location and competition. When the mall was originally built, it was, and still is, pretty much the northernmost regional shopping area in Richmond and is pretty much the last significant retail until you get 50 miles further north to Fredericksburg. It also is convenient to get to from the central city to the south, so it draws from a fairly large geographic area.

However, the area pales in retail growth to areas west and southwest. It didn't help them any to have two upscale malls open in 2003 in the region, with Short Pump Town Center being the one putting a hurt on them. I think you'll find that what's happening is rapid sprawl with retail areas losing fashion much more rapidly than has been the case in the past.

The whole Richmond thing is even more complicated by the odd way in which Virginia's political subdivisions are set up and how statistics are reported. Richmond proper is an independent city, not in any county, with a population of less than 190,000. What a normal visitor would consider "Richmond" has a population of close to a million and consists of two or three independent cities and four or five counties, without any regional government.

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Postby danielh_512 » 07 Feb 2006 03:09

The Richmond MSA would consist of (I'm assuming) Richmond City, Henrico County, Hanover County, Chesterfield County, Goochland County, and the county Petersburg is in (the name escapes me), and maybe Caroline County.

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Postby Dave » 07 Feb 2006 10:24

danielh_512 wrote:The Richmond MSA would consist of (I'm assuming) Richmond City, Henrico County, Hanover County, Chesterfield County, Goochland County, and the county Petersburg is in (the name escapes me), and maybe Caroline County.

The Richmond MSA consists of the independent cities (not in a county) of Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights, and the counties of Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King & Queen, King William, Louisa, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex. The town of Ashland is included, it is in Hanover County and is the only other incorporated area other than the independent cities.

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Re: Pantry Pride in Richmond, VA

Postby Ephrata1966 » 10 Oct 2017 01:21

Dave wrote:Richmond is a confusing place when it comes to studying what became what. It always seems to be one of those "except" places (like Food Lion buying Hannaford, except in Richmond, which went to Kroger, or Big Star/Grand Union selling Virginia stores to Food Lion/Harris Teeter, except in Richmond, where they went to Winn-Dixie).

Hannaford once had at least one store in Norfolk (before Hannaford, this store was a Pantry Pride and possibly Food Fair in name before that, paired with a JM Fields that later was a Bradlees but now is home to government offices) and at least one store in Tabb (Yorktown) that both ended up as Kroger. You said "except in Richmond, which went to Kroger" so I need to clarify something... are Norfolk and Tabb part of the "Richmond market" for Kroger and formerly for Hannaford?

Also, there once were Grand Union stores (but not Big Star stores as far as I know) in the DC suburbs in both Maryland and Virginia... I don't believe any of the DC-area GU stores became either Food Lion or Harris Teeter though. I could be wrong but I think it was way back around 1976 when GU left the area... around the same time as the GU-owned Grand Way department stores in NJ and PA were sold to Kmart, which in addition to fast-paced organic growth was buying up former stores from quite a few chains that were dead or dying around this time: Grant City, JM Fields, Korvettes, GEX, Arlan's, S Klein, etc. A lot of the former Two Guys stores probably would have been bought by Kmart if only Kmart hadn't already opened so many stores that overlapped with Two Guys sites.

Anyway, what are some of the other "except" cities that you speak of? New Orleans seems to have a very different retail landscape than the rest of Louisiana or any of the surrounding states (let me save that discussion for another thread, but you get the point). Actually, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other US cities/regions that seem to stand out in this regard quite like New Orleans.


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