Weis in Northern VA

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eltf177
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Weis in Northern VA

Post by eltf177 »

From Wikipedia: "Weis's expansion into the Baltimore, Maryland market was successful, but its expansions into the Wash-ington, D.C. market were less successful. Weis opened stores in suburban Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia before retreating from that market, first closing most of its stores in Montgomery County, Maryland, and finally closing all stores in Virginia. "

I remember Weis closing all their northern VA stores and thought that was that. Imagine my surprise when looking at the Weis website recently to find they had a number of VA stores still open today - 6 in Fredericksburg, 2 in Stafford County (Aquia Harbour and Garrisonville - about halfway between Fredericksburg and Dumfries) and 1 in Culpepper. So Weis did NOT leave VA, just northern VA.

I suspect they had real troubles competing with Giant and Shoppers Food Warehouse. I helped build the shopping center in Chantilly where that Weis was located, it opened around 1993 but was gone by 1999 - I strongly suspect the Shoppers Food Warehouse built closer to Route 50 had something to do with that. The other local store that closed was in Manassas, I can't recall any others. There were supposedly plans to build one in Leesburg but that never happened, I'm not sure about Lake Ridge.

Anyone with further information is encouraged to share with everyone, thank you.
TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

eltf177 wrote: 28 Aug 2021 15:17 I helped build the shopping center in Chantilly where that Weis was located, it opened around 1993 but was gone by 1999 - I strongly suspect the Shoppers Food Warehouse built closer to Route 50 had something to do with that.
I think I'm familiar with that shopping center from taking several trips to that area over the years. That's the same center that also had the K-Mart correct? I suspected the space on the one end closer to Route 50 was a Weis at one time but wasn't 100% sure. And I'm also familiar with the plaza that actually faces Route 50 where Shoppers was because they too were also gone by 2010 or even before that. I recall once or twice walking cross lots between the two centers. About the only thing the Weis/K-Mart center had going for it was parking because I recall parking being rather tight in the road facing plaza when Shoppers was there. I hadn't thought about those two complexes in years but the more I do rehash it in my mind it raises the question that, given the excellent visibility of the plaza where Shoppers was in that it faces Route 50 why was the center where Weis was even built in the first place? People tend to choose the path of least resistance and choosing to shop in a plaza I can actually see from the road vs. something I have to search for is going to win every time. That probably was even a drag on the K-Mart as well. I mentioned walking between the two centers before and that's the reason why-parking was so much easier in that rear center vs. the one along Route 50. Thanks for mentioning this-brought back a lot of good memories of my time spent in that area.
eltf177
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by eltf177 »

This is actually three separate shopping centers grouped together: Sully Plaza, Sully Square and Sully Place Shopping Center. Weis and K-Mart were part of Sully Place in the back while Shoppers Food was part of Sully Plaza which fronted Route 50.

The main part of the complex was back behind Route 50 where there was more space. This included the K-Mart (long since closed), the Weis and a large number of small stores. These included an excellent Wargame/Hobby Shop (THE GAME PARLOR) which I frequented on a regular basis until they finally went under in 2015, a model/hobby store and a branch of a Woodbridge Used Book Store (also long gone). You are right about being difficult to walk between the two sets of buildings due to heavy traffic.

That Shoppers Food Warehouse is long gone, I understand its an Aldi now. I haven't been in there since THE GAME PARLOR closed...
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

eltf177 wrote: 28 Aug 2021 15:17 I remember Weis closing all their northern VA stores and thought that was that. Imagine my surprise when looking at the Weis website recently to find they had a number of VA stores still open today - 6 in Fredericksburg, 2 in Stafford County (Aquia Harbour and Garrisonville - about halfway between Fredericksburg and Dumfries) and 1 in Culpepper. So Weis did NOT leave VA, just northern VA.
Weis entered the immediate DC market in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The stores that were part of this expansion were:

Gaithersburg, MD: Festival at Muddy Branch Shopping Center. Now Lotte.
Germantown, MD: Mateny Road and Clopper Road. Demolished for apartments.
Chantilly, VA: The store you mention in the same center as K-Mart. Now some of it is PetsMart. Half demolished for a new Lowes.
Centreville, VA: Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center. Now H Mart.
Manassas, VA: Liberia Avenue and Wellington Road/Prince William Parkway. Now LA Fitness.
Woodbridge, VA: Old Bridge Road in what is now Food Lion.

All of the above except Manassas closed by the late 1990s. Manassas held on until the mid-2000s. Note that Weis has had a long time store in Damascus, MD. That store pre-dated the Weis expansion above and is still open. You are correct that the Weis 1980s/1990s DC expansion was done in by Giant and Safeway. It was also hobbled by Weis not catering their DC stores to the market. They dumped a PA Weis in the DC market with PA brands. My mother's family is from PA so we were familiar with Weis. Even we didn't shop there...

The Weis locations that you note as being open now are all former Food Lion locations that Weis purchased when Ahold and Delhaize merged. Weis has closed a few stores they got in this transaction including a second Culpeper location and the Walnut Hill Shopping Center location in Gaithersburg.
eltf177
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by eltf177 »

Thank you, that was most informative!
BatteryMill
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by BatteryMill »

eltf177 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 14:01 This is actually three separate shopping centers grouped together: Sully Plaza, Sully Square and Sully Place Shopping Center. Weis and K-Mart were part of Sully Place in the back while Shoppers Food was part of Sully Plaza which fronted Route 50.

The main part of the complex was back behind Route 50 where there was more space. This included the K-Mart (long since closed), the Weis and a large number of small stores. These included an excellent Wargame/Hobby Shop (THE GAME PARLOR) which I frequented on a regular basis until they finally went under in 2015, a model/hobby store and a branch of a Woodbridge Used Book Store (also long gone). You are right about being difficult to walk between the two sets of buildings due to heavy traffic.

That Shoppers Food Warehouse is long gone, I understand its an Aldi now. I haven't been in there since THE GAME PARLOR closed...
What would Sully Square be in this case? Although yes, I do like how many great stores that center used to be composed of. I believe the Lotte was Hechinger in a past life too.
mjhale wrote: 29 Aug 2021 23:51 Weis entered the immediate DC market in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The stores that were part of this expansion were:

Gaithersburg, MD: Festival at Muddy Branch Shopping Center. Now Lotte.
Germantown, MD: Mateny Road and Clopper Road. Demolished for apartments.
Chantilly, VA: The store you mention in the same center as K-Mart. Now some of it is PetsMart. Half demolished for a new Lowes.
Centreville, VA: Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center. Now H Mart.
Manassas, VA: Liberia Avenue and Wellington Road/Prince William Parkway. Now LA Fitness.
Woodbridge, VA: Old Bridge Road in what is now Food Lion.

All of the above except Manassas closed by the late 1990s. Manassas held on until the mid-2000s. Note that Weis has had a long time store in Damascus, MD. That store pre-dated the Weis expansion above and is still open. You are correct that the Weis 1980s/1990s DC expansion was done in by Giant and Safeway. It was also hobbled by Weis not catering their DC stores to the market. They dumped a PA Weis in the DC market with PA brands. My mother's family is from PA so we were familiar with Weis. Even we didn't shop there...

The Weis locations that you note as being open now are all former Food Lion locations that Weis purchased when Ahold and Delhaize merged. Weis has closed a few stores they got in this transaction including a second Culpeper location and the Walnut Hill Shopping Center location in Gaithersburg.
Sure is an interesting history to go over. I wonder if there were any more Weis in existence, or if this is all they tried out. I have a few more notes about Weis, meanwhile:
  • *Centreville appears to have closed by 1997, lasting under 10 years at the site

    *Chantilly might have been closer to US 50 (fully demolished to make room for Lowe's)? I believe the center had a Best Products, and the northern building (now PetSmart) is seen as having an empty lot in a 1997 aerial vs. the southern anchor spot

    *Germantown was open through 2004?

    *Manassas closed early 2006, was Super Q Mart for some time

    *Woodbridge closed 2000, I believe it was picketed once. Food Lion still maintained a semblance of the Weis layout alongside the mercury vapor lights. Not sure if that has been maintained after Food Lion's remodel.

    *Not much related, but Weis was furthering their Maryland expansion with a store in Bel Air, MD around that time? Not sure if it ever opened
I do wonder if the current Weis stores throughout the D.C. area have managed to improve on the mistakes of the prior stores, given they have not had to dedicate as many resources to establishing these stores as their own.

Do any existing examples of these decors, or at least interior layouts, exist at Weis today?
eltf177
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by eltf177 »

Sully Square was behind the area where Shoppers Food/Aldi is and is the smallest of the three. Mainly has a Bank of America, a Little Caesar's Pizza and a Midas Muffler plus a few other stores.

Sully Square had the K-Mart and Weis plus the Hechinger's. The Hechinger's was a Lotte by 2014. Beatty Comp. (which manages the mall) has a map but it's ancient, it still shows K-Mart and The Game Parlor which are both long gone.

Sully Plaza has the Aldi plus Cort Furniture and CVS Pharmacy.
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

eltf177 wrote: 30 Aug 2021 19:49 Sully Square was behind the area where Shoppers Food/Aldi is and is the smallest of the three. Mainly has a Bank of America, a Little Caesar's Pizza and a Midas Muffler plus a few other stores.

Sully Square had the K-Mart and Weis plus the Hechinger's. The Hechinger's was a Lotte by 2014. Beatty Comp. (which manages the mall) has a map but it's ancient, it still shows K-Mart and The Game Parlor which are both long gone.

Sully Plaza has the Aldi plus Cort Furniture and CVS Pharmacy.
Are you sure that Lotte was Hechinger? I was always told that Lotte was originally Lowes. They closed the store. Then later came back and built the large store that is currently on the opposite side of the site. There was a gap, from what I've been told, between the old and new Lowes stores.

I worked for Hechinger from 1986-1995. The closest stores to this general area that Hechinger had were Reston (now Home Depot), Fairfax (was Giant, now H Mart), Fair Lakes (now Target), Centreville (short lived, now Spa World) and Burke (now Kohls). If Hechinger was even in this building then good for them. Chantilly was always a hole in their store coverage.
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: 30 Aug 2021 15:51 Sure is an interesting history to go over. I wonder if there were any more Weis in existence, or if this is all they tried out. I have a few more notes about Weis, meanwhile:
  • *Centreville appears to have closed by 1997, lasting under 10 years at the site

    *Chantilly might have been closer to US 50 (fully demolished to make room for Lowe's)? I believe the center had a Best Products, and the northern building (now PetSmart) is seen as having an empty lot in a 1997 aerial vs. the southern anchor spot

    *Germantown was open through 2004?

    *Manassas closed early 2006, was Super Q Mart for some time

    *Woodbridge closed 2000, I believe it was picketed once. Food Lion still maintained a semblance of the Weis layout alongside the mercury vapor lights. Not sure if that has been maintained after Food Lion's remodel.

    *Not much related, but Weis was furthering their Maryland expansion with a store in Bel Air, MD around that time? Not sure if it ever opened
I do wonder if the current Weis stores throughout the D.C. area have managed to improve on the mistakes of the prior stores, given they have not had to dedicate as many resources to establishing these stores as their own.

Do any existing examples of these decors, or at least interior layouts, exist at Weis today?
Weis has had a presence in Frederick, Mt Airy, Damascus, Hagerstown and Laurel, MD that pre-dates the expansion into the immediate Washington, DC market. Of the stores that Weis tried in their 1990s expansion only the Germantown, MD store was built with any sort of Weis specific architecture. The other stores were in shopping centers and followed that architecture. The Germantown, MD store had the brown awning style that Weis was using in the 1970s and 1980s. The now closed Stroudsburg, PA store had the same exterior (thanks to Google Street View for having older pictures to show us this store!). I visited the Gaithersburg, Germantown and Manassas stores while they were Weis. All had a pastel colored interior. Department signs were large white letters on the wall from what I remember. I would assume the others did too as they all opened around the same time. Lastly, the Bel Air, MD Weis was originally built as a Giant-PA Martin's branded store. Weis purchased the store when Ahold purchased Giant-MD. At the time Ahold opted to keep the Giant-MD store that was located Tollgate Marketplace. That store closed and was an Ashley Home Store last I was up that way. Oh and the Woodbridge store was picketed by the UFCW. At the time that Weis opened the store they were the only major non-union grocer with stores in the DC market.
BatteryMill
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by BatteryMill »

eltf177 wrote: 30 Aug 2021 19:49 Sully Square was behind the area where Shoppers Food/Aldi is and is the smallest of the three. Mainly has a Bank of America, a Little Caesar's Pizza and a Midas Muffler plus a few other stores.

Sully Square had the K-Mart and Weis plus the Hechinger's. The Hechinger's was a Lotte by 2014. Beatty Comp. (which manages the mall) has a map but it's ancient, it still shows K-Mart and The Game Parlor which are both long gone.

Sully Plaza has the Aldi plus Cort Furniture and CVS Pharmacy.
Got it. Sully Square and Sully Center seem to have strikingly similar architecture, however.
mjhale wrote: 30 Aug 2021 20:08 Are you sure that Lotte was Hechinger? I was always told that Lotte was originally Lowes. They closed the store. Then later came back and built the large store that is currently on the opposite side of the site. There was a gap, from what I've been told, between the old and new Lowes stores.

I worked for Hechinger from 1986-1995. The closest stores to this general area that Hechinger had were Reston (now Home Depot), Fairfax (was Giant, now H Mart), Fair Lakes (now Target), Centreville (short lived, now Spa World) and Burke (now Kohls). If Hechinger was even in this building then good for them. Chantilly was always a hole in their store coverage.
Hmm, that is interesting. I think I might have seen them mentioned somewhere but I can't be sure. What complicates the question is that the first Lowe's in the center might have closed around the same time Hechinger went out of business. The site seems to be sized a lot more like the stores Hechinger built through the mid-90s, rather than Lowe's which was already beginning to build big then. Therefore I am not quite sure.
mjhale wrote: 30 Aug 2021 21:44 Weis has had a presence in Frederick, Mt Airy, Damascus, Hagerstown and Laurel, MD that pre-dates the expansion into the immediate Washington, DC market. Of the stores that Weis tried in their 1990s expansion only the Germantown, MD store was built with any sort of Weis specific architecture. The other stores were in shopping centers and followed that architecture. The Germantown, MD store had the brown awning style that Weis was using in the 1970s and 1980s. The now closed Stroudsburg, PA store had the same exterior (thanks to Google Street View for having older pictures to show us this store!). I visited the Gaithersburg, Germantown and Manassas stores while they were Weis. All had a pastel colored interior. Department signs were large white letters on the wall from what I remember. I would assume the others did too as they all opened around the same time. Lastly, the Bel Air, MD Weis was originally built as a Giant-PA Martin's branded store. Weis purchased the store when Ahold purchased Giant-MD. At the time Ahold opted to keep the Giant-MD store that was located Tollgate Marketplace. That store closed and was an Ashley Home Store last I was up that way. Oh and the Woodbridge store was picketed by the UFCW. At the time that Weis opened the store they were the only major non-union grocer with stores in the DC market.
Laurel is certainly the closest to Washington out of all the aforementioned locations.

I believe I found a surviving example in the Gettysburg, PA store. I'm not sure if all these aforementioned stores followed the exact same aesthetic/layout given there was around 10 year difference between the area's first and last new stores. I recall seeing some layout differences from store to store.

As for Bel Air, I was speaking of another location which opened around the time of their expansion blitz. https://web.archive.org/web/20060525141 ... php?num=20 I would guess that it relocated to the Martin's there. By the way, how many MDs were divested with the Ahold acquisition? Eldersburg or another as well? I recall hearing two were sold off.
eltf177
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by eltf177 »

mjhale wrote: 30 Aug 2021 20:08Are you sure that Lotte was Hechinger? I was always told that Lotte was originally Lowes. They closed the store. Then later came back and built the large store that is currently on the opposite side of the site. There was a gap, from what I've been told, between the old and new Lowes stores.

I worked for Hechinger from 1986-1995. The closest stores to this general area that Hechinger had were Reston (now Home Depot), Fairfax (was Giant, now H Mart), Fair Lakes (now Target), Centreville (short lived, now Spa World) and Burke (now Kohls). If Hechinger was even in this building then good for them. Chantilly was always a hole in their store coverage.
IIRC it was Hechinger but it might have been Lowes, my memory has been proved faulty more than once lately.

Leesburg had a Hechinger at one point, its long gone now. Where was the one in Burke, I don't remember that one (lived there from 1976 to 1982)?
BatteryMill
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by BatteryMill »

eltf177 wrote: 31 Aug 2021 09:19
mjhale wrote: 30 Aug 2021 20:08Are you sure that Lotte was Hechinger? I was always told that Lotte was originally Lowes. They closed the store. Then later came back and built the large store that is currently on the opposite side of the site. There was a gap, from what I've been told, between the old and new Lowes stores.

I worked for Hechinger from 1986-1995. The closest stores to this general area that Hechinger had were Reston (now Home Depot), Fairfax (was Giant, now H Mart), Fair Lakes (now Target), Centreville (short lived, now Spa World) and Burke (now Kohls). If Hechinger was even in this building then good for them. Chantilly was always a hole in their store coverage.
IIRC it was Hechinger but it might have been Lowes, my memory has been proved faulty more than once lately.

Leesburg had a Hechinger at one point, its long gone now. Where was the one in Burke, I don't remember that one (lived there from 1976 to 1982)?
Not sure where Leesburg might have been- where Staples is today? Meanwhile, Burke's Hechinger is now the site of a Kohl's.
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: 31 Aug 2021 12:13
eltf177 wrote: 31 Aug 2021 09:19
mjhale wrote: 30 Aug 2021 20:08Are you sure that Lotte was Hechinger? I was always told that Lotte was originally Lowes. They closed the store. Then later came back and built the large store that is currently on the opposite side of the site. There was a gap, from what I've been told, between the old and new Lowes stores.

I worked for Hechinger from 1986-1995. The closest stores to this general area that Hechinger had were Reston (now Home Depot), Fairfax (was Giant, now H Mart), Fair Lakes (now Target), Centreville (short lived, now Spa World) and Burke (now Kohls). If Hechinger was even in this building then good for them. Chantilly was always a hole in their store coverage.
IIRC it was Hechinger but it might have been Lowes, my memory has been proved faulty more than once lately.

Leesburg had a Hechinger at one point, its long gone now. Where was the one in Burke, I don't remember that one (lived there from 1976 to 1982)?
Not sure where Leesburg might have been- where Staples is today? Meanwhile, Burke's Hechinger is now the site of a Kohl's.
@BatteryBill: You are correct on both. The Leesburg Hechinger was where Staples is now. And Burke where Kohls is now.

@eltf177: See the store list on page 101 of this document. It shows the Burke Hechinger as opening in 1984. Just shortly after you moved away the Hechinger opened.
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: 31 Aug 2021 01:46 As for Bel Air, I was speaking of another location which opened around the time of their expansion blitz. https://web.archive.org/web/20060525141 ... php?num=20 I would guess that it relocated to the Martin's there. By the way, how many MDs were divested with the Ahold acquisition? Eldersburg or another as well? I recall hearing two were sold off.
Here are the stores in the DC/Baltimore area that were sold per the FTC consent agreement:
  • Giant (MD), Eldersburg, MD, 1313 Londontowne Boulevard: Sold to Safeway. Still open as Safeway.
  • Martin's (Giant PA), Frederick, MD, 1305 West 7th Street and Frederick Town Shopping Center. Sold to Frederick County Foods to be operated as County Market. Both were later sold to Giant Eagle. 7th Street is still a Giant Eagle. Frederick Town Shopping Center Giant Eagle moved to the other end of the strip. The original store is now Petco.
  • Martin's (Giant PA), Bel Air, 550 West McPhail Road: Sold to Fleming to be operated as Festival Foods. Weis purchased in 1999 after Fleming's bankruptcy.
  • Martin's (Giant PA), Westminster, 551 Jermor Lane: Sold to Richfood (at the time, since bought by Supervalu and now under Unfi) to be operated as Shoppers Food Warehouse. Still open as Shoppers.
mjhale
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Re: Weis in Northern VA

Post by mjhale »

BatteryMill wrote: 31 Aug 2021 01:46 Hmm, that is interesting. I think I might have seen them mentioned somewhere but I can't be sure. What complicates the question is that the first Lowe's in the center might have closed around the same time Hechinger went out of business. The site seems to be sized a lot more like the stores Hechinger built through the mid-90s, rather than Lowe's which was already beginning to build big then. Therefore I am not quite sure.
Hechinger had a distinctive exterior design for their 1980s to very early 1990s stores. Unless the developer of the center dictated a specific store design Hechinger would have used the exterior design shown in the Google Street View image.
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