Foodtown (United States)
|Headquarters||Iselin, New Jersey, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Products||Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor|
|Parent||Allegiance Retail Services|
Foodtown is a northeastern United States supermarket cooperative founded in 1955 by Twin County Grocers, Inc. Currently, there are 70 Foodtown stores in New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania. There are also 2 locations in South Florida. Foodtown's corporate offices are located in Iselin, New Jersey.
Much like other retailer's cooperatives, such as Wakefern (parent of ShopRite), each Foodtown is independently owned and operated with some owners operating multiple stores. Foodtown's parent company, Allegiance Foodservices, also acts as a supplier for other independent grocers that do not operate under the Foodtown store banner. Allegiance also supplies Foodtown-branded items to the stores it supplies.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Foodtown was a major player on Long Island, NY and in New Jersey. In 1994, Foodtown's Twin County Grocers was headed by CEO Martin Vitale and was supplying 165 Foodtown stores, resulting in wholesale revenue of over $1 billion. A third of those stores were operated by two companies: Mayfair Supermarkets, Inc. and Melmarkets Inc. These two companies were the 2 largest members of the cooperative.
In the mid-1990's, two major incidents nearly resulted in the demise of the Foodtown chain and cooperative. The first incident came in 1995, when the Dutch retailer Royal Ahold, owner of the Edwards Super Food Store supermarkets purchased 45 Foodtown stores which were operated by Melmarkets and Mayfair Supermarkets Inc. Shortly following the purchase, the 45 supermarkets were converted to Edwards Super Food Stores. As these 45 stores made up half of the Twin County Grocer's volume, the cooperative took a severe financial hit. The second incident came when, in the chaos resulting from the Ahold purchase, a scandal was uncovered where members of Twin County's corporate hierarchy were found to have been embezzling money from the cooperative.
In 1998, the lost volume from the Ahold acquisition and damage from the embezzlement scandal forced Foodtown's parent, Twin County Grocers, into bankruptcy. Following these events, many Foodtown stores converted to other banners or simply closed.
The Twin County CEO, Martin Vitale, who once owned 12 Foodtown stores, eventually pleaded guilty to stealing $4.2 million from the Twin County Cooperative, as well as bribing a leader in the United Food and Commercial Workers union in New Jersey.
In 2004, Foodtown closed its warehouse; it now is serviced by various wholesalers. The cooperative is still responsible for negotiating with suppliers, Foodtown advertising, promotions, and marketing programs.
In 2015, A&P asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy case to approve the sale of the intellectual property of Pathmark to an affiliate of Foodtown operator PSK Supermarkets. Foodtown has offered $1 million for assets including the Pathmark logo, trademarks and brand names Pathmark, Chefmark, Big Deals and Sav-A-Center; the Pathmark Gospel Choir Competition; and the Pathmark.com domain name.
- Belleville, New Jersey: Originally Grand Union, later became A&P and then Food Basics. Now Fine Fare.
- Brick, New Jersey: Property currently owned by the township.
- Clifton, New Jersey: Became Drug Fair, now Dollar General.
- East Hanover, New Jersey: Now CVS.
- Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey: Became Circuit City in 1993, closed in 2004, reopend in 2006 as K&G Mens Superstore.
- Garfield, New Jersey: Originally weathervane-style A&P, store closed after A&P, which still owned the property and had returned to Garfield after taking over an old Pathmark, refused to renew the store's lease; store and adjacent strip demolished and taken over by Garfield Board of Education, school occupies site.
- Haledon, New Jersey: Now a local market.
- Hazlet, New Jersey: Located next to Bradlees, both Bradlee's and Foodtown closed and are currently vacant.
- Kearny, New Jersey: Now Modell's.
- Colonia, New Jersey: Located next to Bradlees, both Bradlee's and Foodtown closed and were converted into The Home Depot.
- Lakewood, New Jersey: Later converted to Edwards/Stop & Shop; now vacant.
- Lyndhurst, New Jersey: Later converted to Edwards/Stop & Shop; was redeveloped as a high-rise housing complex.
- Marlboro, New Jersey: Later Stop & Shop, Now NetCost.
- Matawan, New Jersey: Now C-Town.
- Mendham, New Jersey: Now King's.
- Metuchen, New Jersey: Redevelopment proposed, store currently vacant.
- Oakland, New Jersey: Was Grand Union, then Foodtown, the Jules Market. Now split in half with a Staples and Zeytinia.
- Passaic, New Jersey: There were two former Foodtowns in Passaic. One, located on Main Avenue, originally became Pioneer Supermarket, then El Unico market; space now occupied by laundromat and Rite Aid. The other, located on Van Houten Avenue at Broadway, is now a Salvation Army Thrift Store.
- Paterson, New Jersey: Now Rite Aid.
- Saddle Brook, New Jersey: Became Office Depot; now 24 Hour Fitness.
- Secaucus, New Jersey: Later Edwards then Stop & Shop. Store closed and demolished as part of redevelopment of property.
- Township of Washington, New Jersey: became A&P, has since reopened as a Foodtown.
- Wanamassa, New Jersey: Closed following opening of Wegmans; now Spirits Unlimited.
- Wayne, New Jersey: Store located on Valley Road; became Treasure Island; store divided after Treasure Island moved to Route 23 and is now occupied by Walgreens. (Foodtown has returned to Wayne with a location on Route 23, a former Michaels location.)
- Wharton, New Jersey: Store location currently split between Rite Aid and a farmers market. Was located in strip mall on North Main Street near Route 15 North ramp.
- Freeport, New York : Became Edwards, now Stop & Shop
- Massapequa, New York : Became Edwards, now King Kullen
- Lake Grove, New York: Became Stop & Shop, Hallmark Cards, and Lenscrafters, now vacant
- Port Jefferson Station, New York: Became Edwards, then Stop & Shop, now closed, future site of Uncle Giuseppe's.
- Glen Cove, New York: Became Finast, then Edwards, then Stop & Show, now Walgreens and other shops