Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Visit to the Dead Warren Mall

Since I was in Jamestown earlier this month and I had some time, I thought I go the extra 14 miles to revisit something I've been wanting to get to ever since Kmart here closed its doors a year ago: the dead Warren Mall. As mentioned in an older post, I've covered this mall before with some of my very first retail pictures I ever took outside of Kmart. 

Because most of those pictures, didn't turn out the greatest I thought I would try to recapture some of the more interesting elements with better pictures. And that is exactly what I did, although some still came out blurry....

When I had visited here in the past, I would enter at the Kmart entrance. I had my mind set that I wouldn't be able to go in those doors, so I went in the main Bon Ton entrance. Although I didn't try to use those doors, Napoli Pizza is still over in that wing so they probably were unlocked. Oh well.

Something did some damage here. Let's cover it with cardboard!
A slight Kay Jewelers labelscar is visible here when looking at this from the right angle.
Being some of the first ever mall pictures I ever took, I wasn't really thinking about taking pictures of the things below before:

The two pictures below are from the mall's center court area just in front of a surprisingly still open Bon Ton.

While taking a quick a walk to get some pictures of the former Kmart, I also took these:

I played around with some photo editing for this picture if you couldn't tell.
Radioshack here had closed and relocated to the Walmart Plaza 1/4 miles to the south before its bankruptcy. Whether or not the Radioshack in the plaza or not is still open I do not know.
This was a former Ponderosa and yes it was at a mall.
Now for some former Kmart pictures:

Now we move back to the center court area and end up going in the former Big Lots wing.

At least one store moved in since my last visit bumping the total store count to seven:

There's nowhere to buy food or drink at this mall, unless you count the Arby's outside.

Former Big Lots:

I took a look around in Bon Ton and found this old style of flooring:

So as this return visit pointed out to me, nothing has changed really other than the fact that one new store filled a vacancy. It seems to me that mall itself is probably only 10% occupied, and that's counting the Bon Ton anchor space. Who knows what 2016 will bring for this long dead mall.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Smallest Tops Market?

The county that has been getting all the attention lately....
After visiting a rather large supermarket last week, let's peek into a supermarket that is the exact opposite. A Tops, (which would be the main competitor of Wegmans around here), that may very well be the smallest Tops in the chain. Seriously, its six aisles and it is smaller than a Dollar General. 

Why? I can only guess that Tops took over a local supermarket that was once here, though to be honest, it has more of a general store or hardware shop than a supermarket vibe to it. Either way, it is extremely odd! Though I didn't take a picture of them (heavy traffic area), this store has three checkout lanes under the drop ceiling you'll see below. You also enter the store from that area as well having to walk in front of the checkout lanes to access the rest of the store.

Aisle One
Aisle Two
Back wall of the store.
This picture is also from aisle one.
Aisle Three
Aisle Four
Aisle Five
Aisle Six
Limited Produce selection in front of Aisles Five and Six
Limited Produce selection in front of Aisles Five and Six
As for the decor of this store, I've visited a much larger location that uses the same style which will be seen in a future post. Its just interesting to see that Tops still manages to operate a store with only six aisles worth of merchandise. It does seem though that a lot of places are trying to go small to expand their presence. Tops usually operate stores at least four times the size of this dinky location. I guess the small nature of the store is also likely due to the fact that it is in a rather small town. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My First Ever Trip to a Wegmans

I've always heard from people in the area and even some not from area, that Wegmans is one the best supermarket chains they've ever stepped foot in. Interestingly enough, I never actually stepped inside one, that is, until recently. I was in the area trying to kill some time, and after having come out of the Kmart that sits right next door to this Wegmans, I decided to step into what would be an amazing first visit. Those people weren't kidding. Even though this Wegmans is a location that is older in the chain's history, it still is taken care of well and has everything you'd expect from a supermarket.

Before we actually get into taking a look at pictures, I just want to provide some minor background information on the Rochester, NY based company. Wegmans currently has around 85 stores, with a few new locations scheduled to open in the next few years in parts of its existing footprint which includes Western New York, parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The interesting thing to Wegmans is that they skipped over a lot of Pennsylvania and also parts of NY to make an expansion into the DC/Baltimore and Boston markets respectively. The map below shows their current (as of this post) locations:

Map credit to Wikipedia.
At least for the PA skip, the reason is because of population, or rather a lack of. As I mentioned in Potter County post, northern PA lacks a major-sized city, therefore creating not many retail sights in this portion of the blog coverage area. I cannot really explain however why they skipped over the Hudson Valley in eastern New York to operate two isolated Massachusetts stores. Wegmans probably has its reasons for doing so, but what they are, who knows? Population certainly isn't the reason there.

Anyways, we will now start looking at the Lakewood, NY location:

As I mentioned in the introduction, this Wegmans is the first ever location I stepped foot in. I would also like to add that it is also the first time I really focused on trying to take pictures at a supermarket. There's also the fact that some portions of the store were extremely busy, so some areas may not have been covered well. 

Produce straight ahead and floral to your left greet you upon entering this location.

Floral area. You can see the entrance/exit in the background here.
Most Wegmans feature a 'Market Cafe' and that is what is to your right upon entering. This was one of the busiest areas of the store along the deli, which sits behind the cafe along the right side of the wall. Because this area was so busy, I did not get many pictures and one of the few I did get take turned out rather blurry. Therefore it will not be posted here on the blog, but it has been posted over on my Flickr account. Here's the few pictures I was able to grab from this portion of the store:

The cafe features salad bars as well as items you could order from the counter.

Stepping outside for a quick moment at some seating which is outdoors. The Market Cafe does have interior seating too, but I did not take a picture inside.

After visiting the right wall of the store, we know move to the back. Here we find the natural foods area, a whole department dedicated to cheese and more as you will you see below.


Now we move into the actual aisles of the store which features a different style of floor:

Health and Beauty
Giant Beer tap found near the beverage of the same name.

After sticking to the wall portions of the store, I went down one of many aisles to the halfway actionway and this is where that mustard floor looks really odd, yet unique at the same time.

Moving on to front area of the store:

The pharmacy is a box in the center of the store like some Walmart locations. Unlike Walmart, however, you can actually walk inside here.
Checkout lanes.

Opposite the pharmacy is the bakery area. On the other side of the wall here, is where produce is.

Just like others said, Wegmans is a nice supermarket. I can't frequent it often due to closest location being an hour away, but its nice to now its here. Not only does Wegmans thank you for stopping by, I would also like to thank you for once again taking a look at the Twin Tiers Retail Blog. See you in the next post!