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Old 01-27-2009, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
243 posts, read 629,393 times
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Publix has an amazing deli and bakery. Not only that but their employees are awesome and their generic brands are some of the best I've had. I love the Publix where I live (as well as kroger) and back in chattanooga.

I was never really impressed with Food City. Maybe I've never been to a good one (the only one i've really been to is next to taco bell and hardees close to ETSU)? Food city always reminded me of Bi-Los. . .and that is not a good thing. The Kroger close to campus was always good when I went there. Earth Fare seems interesting.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,776,331 times
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To me, it's Kroger or Ingle's all the way. More or less all the Krogers tend to be nice, a few of the Ingle's are hit or miss though. Never really was impressed by Food City, and the others (Food Lion, White's) are waaaay too dirty.

Earth Fare isn't a Whole Foods knockoff, despite lots of people saying so. Its food and consumer philosophy is totally different, and its definitions of 'natural' are more strict - the narrowest in the industry, so they claim.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
... the others (Food Lion, White's) are waaaay too dirty.
Food Lion is in the process of renovating their stores to add new meat, produce, organic/natural, and floral departments in other areas. Their renovated stores in much of Virginia and North Carolina are much nicer and cleaner than the unrenovated stores. The Columbia, SC market is next in 2009, so it's hard telling when they'll be announced in this area. Probably still a year or two away because Food Lion isn't that popular here, but 1st or 2nd in sales in most markets in Virginia and the Carolinas. I don't think you'd ever confuse them for an upscale chain, but then again they're more of a grocer that focuses on lower prices rather than fancy stores and decorum, and they even undercut Wal-Mart on a number of items.

But whether its an upscale chain, or one that focuses on the lowest possible price, different people prefer different things. That's why several grocery chains can usually be successful in the same area. I don't think a Wegmans shopper would be interested in a White's or vice-versa. So it's good to have several options and each chain tends to fill a niche.

It's always interesting to see the most popular grocery chains in different areas. Here's a link that ranks them in the top 100 markets based on sales in 2007 (unfortunately Bristol/Kingsport/Johnson City isn't in the top 100 but it's still interesting to look through): Largest supermarket chains in the top 100 markets | MMR | Find Articles at BNET
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 24,678,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey. View Post
Has anybody been to Ukrop's? Would that compare to Wegman's?

I have been in Ukrops a couple of times, but it was in the early 1990s and in Richmond Virginia. I went there when I was visiting relatives in Midlothian. It was a nice store and when I was there, that chain did not sell tobacco or alcohol products, but was still a thriving chain in that area.

I had never stepped foot in a Publix until last June when I went to visit relatives in Anderson South Carolina. I liked it- every time, we got in and out very quickly. My aunt down there says she most always shops there, despite an Ingalls less than a mile from her house.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:41 PM
 
357 posts, read 875,628 times
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Wegman's may sound upscale but actually they keep many of their prices very low. They got started in upstate NY and can be found in many towns that resemble JC very closely both in size and demographic. They offer all of your basic groceries plus all the organic, local produce, and bulk items. Their owner, Danny Wegman, is just very cautious in how he expands so that he can keep prices low but still offer people everything they could possibly desire in a grocery store. Whenever they build a new one in a new town they get a huge crowd and they typically have to put a sign up letting people know (mostly other grocery chains) that if they want to tour the store that they will need to make an appointment. Lastly, Wegman's always gets put on the list of best employers by Forbes. Mainly because of how well they treat their employees and all of the education incentives they give their employees. They have paid for countless employees to go to College.

By the way I am not saying all this because I am unhappy with my local grocery store (I go to Lion King) I actually am very pleased with them other then the lack of options. I am just replying to some of the comments that think Wegmans would be too fancy or expensive to make it in a town like JC. But I think its highly unlikely they would come here any time soon primarily because they have only gotten as far south as Northern Virginia and they don't expand quickly. So it's a fairly mute point.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:52 PM
 
12,434 posts, read 34,633,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
To me, it's Kroger or Ingle's all the way. More or less all the Krogers tend to be nice, a few of the Ingle's are hit or miss though. Never really was impressed by Food City, and the others (Food Lion, White's) are waaaay too dirty.

Earth Fare isn't a Whole Foods knockoff, despite lots of people saying so. Its food and consumer philosophy is totally different, and its definitions of 'natural' are more strict - the narrowest in the industry, so they claim.
I love Earth Fare, but let's face it, the new Earth Fare stores look a heck of a lot like Whole Foods stores--same color schemes, layouts, even the tile on the floor. I went to Whole Foods stores in Memphis, Atlanta, and Nashville and then to the Earth Fare store in Knoxville and it was like it was all the same chain.

One thing I don't like about Earth Fare is that often their produce is priced as if it were organic, but it isn't actually organic.

At any rate, I think Earth Fare caters to the well-heeled and those who place organic food as a budgetary priority. In either case, it's unlikely that Earth Fare pulls many customers away from the likes of Food City or Food Lion up in the Tri Cities but probably competes more with the higher-end Kroger stores which have a larger selection of organic and pre-packaged homemade foods.

I do think it's interesting that here in Knoxville, Earth Fare's current location and its future location are both in very upscale parts of town. Same with the Whole Foods locations in Memphis and Nashville. So apparently Earth Fare and Whole Foods aren't trying to compete with the budget grocery chains.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 24,678,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckyhuggs View Post

By the way I am not saying all this because I am unhappy with my local grocery store (I go to Lion King) I actually am very pleased with them other then the lack of options.
I have never heard of Lion King. Where are they located?
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:49 AM
 
Location: NE PA
166 posts, read 587,473 times
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I'm confirming what Beckyhugs wrote about Wegmans. They have two stores in our region, one in SCranton (a tad larger than JC) and another in Wilkes-Barre (same size as Kingsport). I checked the stats online and the tricities actually has a slightly higher median wage than NE PA, and are similar in population, so the demographics are there. But Wegmans is a family owned and operated chain and do expand slowly.
They've made the top 100 Employers list for several yrs in a row as was noted. While we get most of our staples from our local store (especially when it's BOGO free) we make an occasional run to Wegmans (about 20 miles away, and we know people who travel even further to shop there, as well as visitors from out of town who go there when they visit the area). Not only do they have a wider selection of most staples, as well as the bakery and restaurants, but they have a nice selection of ready to cook meats (already seasoned or marinated, saving the prep time). SPeaking of which, a Super Supper recently opened by Scranton. Are there any in the tri-cities? Haven't been to it yet but apparently they sell meals almost ready to go, with minimal prep. Beats fast food but is supposed to be better than frozen/processed foods for busy families.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:21 AM
 
357 posts, read 875,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennesseestorm View Post
I have never heard of Lion King. Where are they located?
OOOPs I meant Food Lion
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,163 posts, read 3,964,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougargm View Post
SPeaking of which, a Super Supper recently opened by Scranton. Are there any in the tri-cities? Haven't been to it yet but apparently they sell meals almost ready to go, with minimal prep. Beats fast food but is supposed to be better than frozen/processed foods for busy families.
Super Suppers google map
37601 super suppers - Google Maps

You may want to call them because the last time I drove by there they did not look open for business anymore. Can't say I've ever tried them ... seems pricey.
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