Pathmark Supermarkets making a comeback
Pathmark, among the most innovative and ubiquitous supermarket chains in the Northeast from the 1970s through the early 2000s, is poised to re-emerge onto the grocery scene after Allegiance Retail Services announced the scheduled opening of store under that iconic banner in Brooklyn.
The 49,000-square-foot store is currently under construction in central Brooklyn and will open in late March or early April. Ironically, the location operated as a Pathmark until the A&P bankruptcy in 2015.
It was from this bankruptcy proceeding that Allegiance Retail Services LLC, based in Iselin, NJ, purchased the intellectual property of the Pathmark name and associated marks to increase the number of banners available to co-op members, and, more importantly, to develop a format to target a specific and underserved consumer segment.
Allegiance Retail Services LLC is a supermarket cooperative that has 32 members operating 120 retail supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At one time the members of the cooperative were fierce competitors of Pathmark, but that ended abruptly when A&P liquidated all retail operations in August 2015.
After purchasing the Pathmark name, Allegiance Retail Services began a brand review and market analysis, then developed a business plan and refined the format’s operating principles. Additionally, Allegiance set up rigorous guidelines related to a go-to-market operating strategy, physical requirements and the experience needed to potentially be designated as a Pathmark operator. Some of the physical requirements associated with the Pathmark format include a store measuring at least 30,000 square feet of selling space; a full parking lot with easy ingress and egress; and a local consumer-base that aligns with the profile associated with Pathmark’s past success.
Aside from meeting all the physical requirements, the demographics and life-stage of consumers proximate to 1525 Albany Ave. location matches nicely with the profile developed to be serviced by a Pathmark, including having a disproportionate number of area residents who are millennial families with one or more children who demand wide variety, strong promotions, everyday values and ingredient-based products.
Although optimistic about this banner’s future, Allegiance said it would assess the response to this first unit, before announcing any additional new or retrofitted existing units.