Stop & Shop closing in NH, Shaw's closing stores & retreating, Market Basket growing, and expanding.
Which stores do you want to see come to your neighborhood? Or Changes made to stores that you currently shop at ?
Persoanlly, in my area in Salem, NH, I wold like to see the Shaw's close and a Whole Foods or Wegmans, and even a Trader Joe's come to set up shop.
I am up near Burlington VT and IMO, we have a really good supermarket "scene". With Trader Joe's coming in 2014 it will be even better!
Our 3 main "conventional" supermarkets are Hannaford, Shaws and Price Chopper. Of the 3 I like Hannaford the best. They carry local products, have a great selection of organics etc.
We also have great locally owned natural/organic food markets such as Natural Provisions, City Market and Healthy Living.
There are also lots of great smaller locally owned shops such as Lantmans in Hinesburg (though they will close when Hannaford gets built in town), Shelburne Supermarket, Shelburne Meat Market and Cheesetraders to name a few.
And how can we forget the local farms and farmers markets?
I'm really looking forward to Trader Joe's arrival. Some people would like to see a Whole Foods here but I really don't think its needed given what we already have. Wegmans would be a nice addition though.
Here in the Lebanon NH area, we have 2 Shaws, 2 Price Choppers, and a Hannaford. Hate Shaws, Hate Price Chopper. One of the Shaws is closing down (hooray!). Price Chopper s/b called Price Raiser. Hannaford is also pricey, but it's a nice store. There is a Market Basket about 18 miles away in Claremont - they are by far cheaper than anyone else. If one opens in Lebanon, it will wipe out the Chopper and the remaining Shaws. For 'upscale' foods, we have 2 Co-Op's - very nice with quality foods, but pricey.
I just heard about a west coast company called Winco foods (http://www.wincofoods.com/) that I would really love to see opening up here in Vermont. It sounds exactly like the sort of place we'd appreciate shopping in.
Shaw's here has just gotten rid of their loyalty cards and dropped their prices. They have dropped a LOT of prices, and not an insignificant amount. Though they STILL charge 9.99 for a bag of Busy Bones *grumble*
I'm not on the East coast but we recently got a Winco Foods store and we love it. It's my first choice, not only in price but quality. They have a huge bulk foods section, the store is very, very clean and well maintained and there are people, actual people (!) not only on the floor but as back up cashiers.
I'll be rooting for you to get a Winco. They took over a Walmart store so I don't think they do ground up - only remodels.
I would like to see more Market Baskets. Family owned company, works on low margins, doesn't price gouge, really takes care of their employees, clean stores, they have organics, gluten free. Arthur DeMoulas has created a chain that has remained one of the best supermarket models in the country. I've been in the business for over 40 years, worked for Stop and Shop for over 10 years. Market Basket is the only chain in New England that WalMart is afraid of. If you have the opportunity to visit one, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's not Whole Foods, or Wegmans, but the items you find are very good quality at very good prices. Just plain, old fashioned stores. They support local businesses and farms whenever they can also.
Second would be Wegman's. Consistently picked as the number one company to work for by Forbes almost every year. (Google took the spot this year). Wegman's private label items are known to be better quality than most branded items. They're stores are very nice, they're staff is very knowledgeable, and helpful. Prices are ok, but the quality of they meal replacement foods is very high for a supermarket.
I wish they'd put a Market Basket in where the Stop and Shop in Milford was. I'd go to the S&S frequently when I needed one or two things as it was more convenient than driving across Milford to the MB, and it was always practically empty, as is the Shaw's across the street. The Milford MB, along with the MBs on Northwest Blvd in Nashua and the Exit 8 location, are always busy. Not surprised that S&S closed--I'm surprised the Milford Shaw's isn't closing as well. The S&S prices were so much higher than MB's that I think it really limited the number of people who'd choose to do their weekly/regular grocery shopping there. I know that was the case in my situation--I could get twice as many items for the same price at MB. (Well, I may be exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.)
Both the other businesses ( a pizza parlor and a Blockbuster ) are now empty next to the Milford MB. I wonder if they'd just expand into that space. The pizza shop space was totally gutted last time I looked in the window. Probably a lot cheaper than moving across town. They get a lot of people who shop there from towns west of Milford, moving to the east side of town would not be good for those people.