It’s over! What am I going to write about now??? 🙂 A big thank you goes out to all my readers and viewers and twitter friends. You have been a tremendous help. Your tips and constant interest reminded me every day how important this story is to many of you. I wanted to stay on top of it and this week was the culmination of some hard work and long hours. It was not an easy decision to run with the Ahold story on Wednesday. As a station, we were out there on a limb. No one else was even reporting the story. But I was confidant in my sources and I knew many hard-working people in Central Virginia (especially Ukrop’s 3,000-plus employees) wanted to know what was going on.
Ahold is based in the Netherlands and is a world-wide conglomerate, but industry insiders tell me that doesn’t mean you’ll get a corporate feel in the stores. Giant-Carlisle is the actual group moving in to Central Virginia. It’s a division of Ahold USA. The company is based in Pennsylvania and has 152 stores in the Mid-Atlantic. The Giant stores this division operates are ONLY in Pennsylvania. (Another division of Ahold runs the Giants in Fredericksburg and many years ago had a store in Richmond) Giant-Carlisle ONLY operates Martin’s Food Markets south of the Mason Dixon Line. There are 9 Martin’s in Virginia. The first opened in 1984 in Winchester; Front Royal soon followed. Today there are also stores in Staunton, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro and Culpeper. We are traveling to the Martin’s in Waynesboro today so look for my report tonight at 5:30. We’ll compare and contrast Ukrop’s and Martin’s. I’m on vacation next week, but I’ll try to update you along the way.
Not Quite Finished Yet:
There’s still much more to be written about this sale. Ukrop’s was an institution. It was very much a “Richmond” company. It was a chain with values that stuck to their guns. Please send me your story ideas and let me know how the loss of this home-grown company is affecting you.