By Kevin Williams
I wasn’t in Connellsville to grocery shop, but whenever I travel, I like going into grocery stores. Some of you know, I was in the grocery business for several turns 15 – 20 years ago. I think the grocery business is like the newspaper business, it never really leaves you. And just how I still enjoy going around and looking at different newspapers, I also enjoy scoping out different groceries.
Connellsville, Pennsylvania is like a lot of communities, it has a dingy, dumpy, scrappy grocery and an affluent, upscale, opulent grocery. Honestly, I like both. I love an underdog and having a smaller, scrappier competitor in town keeps the big grocery from selling $9 bags of chips and $10 cases of soda. Competition is healthy. And from my experiences with both upscale and underdogs, you can move a lot of product at the underdog store, you just have to price it right. A pie that sells at $7.99 at the upscale store will mold on the shelf at that price at the underdog. So there’s more margins to work with at the upscale store.
So, let’s take a photo tour that puts into sharp relief the differences between the two types of stores. The first batch of photos is from CashSaver, a small chain of groceries and Martin’s (not to be confused with Martin’s Super Markets in Indiana). Martin’s is part of the much larger Giant chain.
Across town, and seemingly a world away, is a more upscale grocery and the differences hit you right away.