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Supermarket Wars

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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      4 Replies
      1. re: zootsi

        Really wish we had a co-op down here near Nashua, much, much nicer than WF, imho, and the prices are about the same.

        1. re: qianning

          Just being pedantic here, but a coop isn't a supermarket. :D

          1. re: zootsi

            I heard a rumor that MB has bid on the closing Shaws. Woohoo!

          2. 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*

            1 Reply
            1. re: Morganna

              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.

            2. 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.

              1. 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.)

                4 Replies
                1. re: Tante

                  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.

                  1. re: Msample

                    No expanding over there, that space is the new Milford State Liquor Store. The sign is up, but I have no idea of the opening date.

                    1. re: solargarlic

                      It opened last week, so now the old liquor store location in Granite Town Plaza is vacant.

                      1. re: Tante

                        Ah, makes sense . Much better than the old location , that plaza was a dump and way off the beaten path .

                2. I split my shopping between MB and Hannaford. I also do a bit at Trader Joes...nuts, dried fruit, hot dogs. I'd like to have a Whole Foods here in Nashua, more for the prepared food area for nights that I just don't want to cook.

                  1. Here on the midcoast it's Hannaford by a mile. Of course everybody would love a Trader Joe's in their area, and personally Wegmans would be a nice add (in Maine period). Everytime I go to one in upstate NY I am amazed at how great those stores are.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                      Would like to see Trader Joe's make their way more into NH. Great quality groceries and they even have MB beat on price for many (but not all) items that are of comparable quality and made of comparable ingredients, or they match them on national brand pricing for stuff that has better quality. They treat their employees second-to-none as well and they pay them a living wage. Their always quick to open additional checkout lanes when needed, and I've seen them go from 2 to 6 lanes in a matter of a minute. I think they would easily do well in Manchester NH as after Shaw's and S&S closing, the remaining grocery stores left are MB, Hannaford, and Sam's.

                      Could also use a TJ's in Salem NH, and I think if they saw a very busy Aldi in that area, they wouldn't flink an eyelash.

                      Would like to see WF mainly for prepared foods in Nashua, and I think they can do very well in Manchester.

                      Hannaford taking over the S&S in Hudson would be nice to see but I think it would be unlikely as they already operate very slow stores in Londonderry and Lowell that are across the street from MBs. But I think Hannaford is going to try to push for curbside service in the area (as per their Facebook page) to differentiate themselves. The existing Hudson store which is about 10 minutes from the existing S&S on average does decently well, but needs about 2x the volume (my guess) to convince them to do this. I think their energy now in terms of business expansion is in NY and perfecting their Bottom Dollar business model (which is along the lines of an Aldi in the PA and NJ area). Something tells me the S&S in Hudson will stay dark for awhile... best case scenario is Whole Foods scoops it up but it's probably a little big for them, while it is too small for Wegmans.

                      1. re: kreptol

                        The thing is, I go to the Aldi in Salem and it is DEAD! I think the thing that screwed them is not getting their beer & wine license. I think the TJ's would not see to coming to Salem as the may perceive, looking at Aldi's lack of customers, it is not a good Market.
                        ALdi is in process to build NH store #2 in Plastow in the old Shaw's space.

                        ALso McKInnon's might also try to go to Manchester. They just opened last summerin Portsmouth

                        1. re: windward

                          The Trader Joes in Nashua ( which used to be in Tynsborough ) is always busy - but that's because they get a lot of MA residents who trek over the border. But I don't think Salem would get as many - the MA border area south of Salem is less affluent than the area south of Nashua. So I don't know that a TJ in Salem would do as well . And overall the Salem retail strip/mall area is not as nice as the Nashua equivalent.

                    2. I wouldn't mind a TJ's in our area, but I'm a Market Basket gal all the way. Stop and Shop has a poor selection of meats (a zillion kinds of sausage and prebreaded, precooked chicken products but no chicken livers, minimal pork selections, etc). Shaws lost me a decade ago.

                      If I'm not in local fishmongers or delis, I'm at the MB.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pinehurst

                        Yes, would like to see McKinnon's make a push into Nashua/Hudson as well. It is unfortunate that Aldi in Salem is dead and that will definitely be a deal breaker for TJ's to go into that area.

                        Did walk into Shaw's this past Saturday and was impressed at their price reductions and sales though. Regular price for Sara Lee deli meats went down to $6.99/lb and Dietz and Watson meats were either $5.99 or $6.99/lb with some of their cheeses at $4.99/lb. Milk was at $2.49/gallon; matching MB, Hannaford, and Sam's. Still some ridiculously high priced items but they are becoming less prevalent throughout the store. Also, Gifford's ice cream went for $2.99/qt on sale; the lowest price I've seen it going for ages. I know I am a bit crazy and will take some heat for this, but they are starting to be right around what I'd otherwise pay at Hannaford.

                      2. Maybe we're lucky. I thought I've read that some of the Market Baskets around Boston aren't very good. I stopped shopping at MB years ago when I kept getting bitter zucchini and wanted some items they didn't carry. But I went back because their produce improved a lot, the fish dept is very good and they now carry some products like organic milk. Only Hannaford however seems to carry Muir Glen pizza sauce and we like their whole wheat English Muffins. I also use the pharmacy there. Shaw just seemed to get too expensive. I also got irritated at Hannaford when they started cleaning the fish dept out before I got a chance to buy some fish. It was early in the evening. This was the Concord Hannaford. The Concord Hannaford also now carries meat from Miles Smith farm in the frozen meat section.
                        I'd like a TJ.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dfrostnh

                          I find that Market Basket does carry less natural and organic products too. For example, they only carry Blue Bunny personals ice cream while Shaw's and Hannaford carry full size 56 oz Blue Bunny. Given the size adjustment, you pay slightly more than Hood or Friendly's ($.90 more for 8 extra ounces) but the Blue Bunny frozen yogurt (in particular) is just tastes much better as it is all natural than many other choices that are below that price point, and some that are more expensive as well. The ice cream is just average though unbelievably enough. I'd have to say Blue Bunny beats out most of the Breyer's line as well. Only flavors I would consider buying from Breyer's is strawberry and maybe vanilla. Plus, having natural store brand bread is a big plus as well.

                          dfrostnh: you do have to shop Hannaford before 8 pm to buy fish at most stores; some stores at 7.

                          1. re: kreptol

                            thanks, kreptol. I think the problem was going to the gym after work and then doing grocery shopping so I was shopping late. I'll have to ask next time I'm there but my shopping times have changed a lot.

                        2. Yep, Its official,. Whole Foods is coming to Nashua.

                            1. Love seeing the favorable reviews of Market Basket. Unfortunately, they are in the middle of a war with their employees AND customers and sales are down 90%. Hope they can get it sorted quickly.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: why_itsme

                                yeah, by, you know, not crapping on their employees any more.