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NorthCoast

D&W

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Since the 'Meijer' topic has generated a lot of conversation. I thought I would start a thread about D&W. There seems to be more than enough to talk about; the company's history and its growth, its role as one of GR's premier (home grown/family owned) retailers, its sad decline, the Spartan buy out, its revamped image, and where the brand name goes from here.

Granted I'll be the first to admit there may not as much to say or talk about as there is Meijer but being a D&W employee, of course I could not let the Meijer thread dominate this board. ;)

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I do have to say that I was happy to see Spartan Stores take over D&W, if for no other reason (there were many reasons) than it is still a locally owned company. Granted, Spartan is a publicly traded company, but it could have been a much worse scenario, such as a buyout firm coming in to squeeze every penny possible from D&W, leaving it for dead in the end.

Also, now that Spartan lable products are back on the shelves, and with many renovations coming to area stores, I think you'll see more people shopping at D&W / Spartan stores, which will help Spartan Inc. continue its upward climb.

The one thing I would like to see is Spartan Store, Inc. becoming a more visible community member...perhaps they do a lot of behind the scenes activity in West Michigan that I am just not aware of...

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I am going to have to say that I am very unhappy with the change so far. Since the purchase, the service level, the attitude of the employees, and the general atmosphere that gave me reason to pay a few bucks more when i shopped has all but disappeared. I wish that I were the only one that felt that way, but I have had quite a few conversations with people who feel that they now have to "choose between the lesser of two evils."

Adding products is fine, but I think that most people shopped at D&W for other, more service oriented reasons. I know that I did.

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I am going to have to say that I am very unhappy with the change so far. Since the purchase, the service level, the attitude of the employees, and the general atmosphere that gave me reason to pay a few bucks more when i shopped has all but disappeared. I wish that I were the only one that felt that way, but I have had quite a few conversations with people who feel that they now have to "choose between the lesser of two evils."

Adding products is fine, but I think that most people shopped at D&W for other, more service oriented reasons. I know that I did.

lesser of 2 evils, in reference to Meijer???? I have shopped at many different grocers all across our fair land and some in others and Meijer is one of my favs.

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lesser of 2 evils, in reference to Meijer???? I have shopped at many different grocers all across our fair land and some in others and Meijer is one of my favs.

I agree...it could be a LOT worse for us around here. Granted, D&W (Spartan) might not be able to have our groceries carried out to our cars much longer (if they even still do that??), and the stores might not be able to have one employee around for every two customers in the store, but that was what got D&W into some pretty tight financial issues in the not-to-distant past. From what I understand, the same employees that were at D&W before the Spartan takeover are still there today...just getting their paychecks from a different address now.

Take a look at a Farmer Jack in SE Michigan, or an IGA over in the Tri-City area sometime...having a slightly revamped D&W is still having something pretty good...and I would still chose a Meijers over a Walmart Supercenter or a SuperTarget any day of the week (regardless of hometown loyalty). Talk to people that have moved away from Meijer-territory, and they'll likely say that it's something they really miss...

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I definitely missed it in Chicago. Jewel and Dominicks are OK, but they don't even compare to the freshness of Meijer, or D&W, in fact.

I have a soft place in my heart for D&Dubs since it was the only grocer in Rockford when I ws growing up.

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I live close to the old Walker D & W store that's on Rememberance Rd. When the buyout happened, Family Fare closed that location leaving a very large vacant building. In exchange the Great Day store not too far away on Lake Michigan Dr. was improved. However I hope the old D & W building gets put to good use again. Its too nice to let go into disrepair.

As for D & W itself, I found the prices a bit too high. When compared to Meijer and Family Fare, they were often the most expensive. So my family chose to shop elswhere mostly at Meijer followed by Family Fare for any specialty items not found at Meijer.

Just for curiousity sake how many D & W's are left? I know the one in Grandville is still alive and kicking along with the D & W on 28th street in Cascade.

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I live close to the old Walker D & W store that's on Rememberance Rd. When the buyout happened, Family Fare closed that location leaving a very large vacant building. In exchange the Great Day store not too far away on Lake Michigan Dr. was improved. However I hope the old D & W building gets put to good use again. Its too nice to let go into disrepair.

As for D & W itself, I found the prices a bit too high. When compared to Meijer and Family Fare, they were often the most expensive. So my family chose to shop elswhere mostly at Meijer followed by Family Fare for any specialty items not found at Meijer.

Just for curiousity sake how many D & W's are left? I know the one in Grandville is still alive and kicking along with the D & W on 28th street in Cascade.

The D&W in Caledonia was recently redone and is a beautiful store - would say one of the nicest grocery stores outside of the Whole Foods store in Ann Arbor that I have ever been to. Should Spartan consider renovating other stores under its umbrella (Glen's, D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare, etc), this would be a good model to go off of.

As far as I know, the D&W's in EGR, on Fulton, and on Lakewood in Holland are still around (perhaps operating under Family Fare name now?)

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Thought--could D&W rebrand itself a organic foods store, a la Whole Foods and Wild Oats?

Second thought, It probably removes all product leveraging that Spartan Stores has in mind.

Rethought, it would still be cool, perhaps Spartan can create an organic food line.

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I live close to the old Walker D & W store that's on Rememberance Rd. When the buyout happened, Family Fare closed that location leaving a very large vacant building. In exchange the Great Day store not too far away on Lake Michigan Dr. was improved. However I hope the old D & W building gets put to good use again. Its too nice to let go into disrepair.

I am a business owner in the same center that D&W was in on the corner of 4 mile and Plainfield in the Northtown Shopping Center. Now that D&W has closed we are the ONLY tenant left in that rear section of the center. What really sucks is instead of Spatan doing something with that space they have chose to pay the lease and not allow anyone to sublease it. Now that leaves a big empty space that doesn't draw any foot traffic near my business and only creates an eyesore. That leaves me shopping at Meijer or even better, at the local farmers markets.

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Thought--could D&W rebrand itself a organic foods store, a la Whole Foods and Wild Oats?

Second thought, It probably removes all product leveraging that Spartan Stores has in mind.

Rethought, it would still be cool, perhaps Spartan can create an organic food line.

While I don't think it would be feesible for Spartan to remake itself as a While Foods / Wild Oats / Trader Joes clone, I DO think that it would have great success introducing its own broad line of organic products, similar to what Whole Foods does w/ its 365 private lable brand. With it being noted that neither Whole Foods or Trader Joes planning to put a store in GR anytime soon, Spartan would have great marketing leverage in providing a wide selection (versus one isle hidden at the back of the store like others seem to be doing) of organic products.

One of the reasons that Whole Foods has been appealing to so many (including myself) is that its private lable foods are both very high in quality and also very reasonably priced (it's the non-private lable products that are rediculously expensive at the organic stores). Spartan / D&W would have the customer base that these products would appeal to, IMO moreso than a typical Meijers' customer.

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I am a business owner in the same center that D&W was in on the corner of 4 mile and Plainfield in the Northtown Shopping Center. Now that D&W has closed we are the ONLY tenant left in that rear section of the center. What really sucks is instead of Spatan doing something with that space they have chose to pay the lease and not allow anyone to sublease it. Now that leaves a big empty space that doesn't draw any foot traffic near my business and only creates an eyesore. That leaves me shopping at Meijer or even better, at the local farmers markets.

Ouch! That doesn't bode well for the former Walker D & W building. There's a small strip mall to the west of that building with some nice little Mom and Pop's. I bet they are hurting right now. However I think the city of Walker is working with the building owners to get the old D & W occupied again as soon as possible.

Hope luck for your bussiness will turn for the better soon.

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Now that D&W has closed we are the ONLY tenant left in that rear section of the center.

Curves?

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i hated D&W, they were expensive, with no selection, and crappy service

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i hated D&W, they were expensive, with no selection, and crappy service

Change a few word around and you get my sentiments about Meijer.

"I hate Meijer, they are cheap, dirty, and have crappy service."

Mind you, my opinion of Meijer the store is totally different than that of Fred Meijer, the man.

To each his own, though.

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There are still 10 remaining stores which still operate under the 'D&W Fresh Market' banner...

-Caledonia, (Cherry Valley)

-Grand Haven (Robbins Road)

-Breton Village (Breton)

-Cascade (28th Street)

-Gaslight Village (Wealthy)

-Grandville (44th Street)

-Holland (Douglas Avenue)

-Kalamazoo (Parkview)

-Portage (Romence)

-Rockford (Marcell)

The only stores that closed for good were...

-Zeeland: The store failed to do enough business and the market in the Zeeland-Holland area was oversaturated(1 D&W and 3 Family Fares, not to mention outside competitors.)

-Northtown: I'm not 100% sure why this store closed. Like my dad often says though, "It's not because they were making too much money." I think this closing only illustrated the sad deterioration and dire straits of Plainfield.

-Walker: This store had long been trailing the performance of the Lake Michigan Dr. Family Fare (former Great Day) store and I have also heard that the owner of the building the store was located in refused to lease to Spartan.

-Muskegon: This was an underperforming store and an outlier to the core Grand Rapids-Holland market. The construction of a supercenter (Wal-Mart I believe) also indicated even poorer business conditions.

The other six; Alpine, Breton Meadows, Burlingame, Fulton Heights, Jenison, and Kentwood were converted to Family Fares.

When the buy out occured I remember Spartan not ruling out the eventual possibility building new D&W stores in the future. I hope that they make an attempt to re-establish themselves on the west side of town. The Jenison-Hudsonville area is home to 3 Family Fares all within a couple of miles of eachother. There is a rumor floating around that Spartan owns some land at 28th and Baldwin and would consolidate the Georgetown Family Fare on Port Sheldon, and the former Jenison D&W on 20th Avenue into one store. Whether or not it would be a Family Fare or D&W is debatable. If it ever happened I would hope it to be a D&W with the continuous building of new homes in the area but local shopping habits and tastes tend to be more within the 'Family Fare' brand line.

The failure of D&W to succeed in pushing a higher-end grocery store would make me weary of a viable enough market for a Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

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Granted, D&W (Spartan) might not be able to have our groceries carried out to our cars much longer (if they even still do that??)

I didn't know D&W does/did that... I thought the only store that did that was Harding's in Wayland (Spartan-owned)

It is one reason I enjoy shopping at Harding's... great service and the free bag-carrying service is almost like being part of the past... when there were drive-in resturaunts and theatres, and when attendants at gas stations would fill your car for you.

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I didn't know D&W does/did that... I thought the only store that did that was Harding's in Wayland (Spartan-owned)

It is one reason I enjoy shopping at Harding's... great service and the free bag-carrying service is almost like being part of the past... when there were drive-in resturaunts and theatres, and when attendants at gas stations would fill your car for you.

I know that the Caledonia D&W store had bag-carrying for a long time...was in the store last week grabbing my daily Starbucks fix, but didn't notice if they still offered the service or not.

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Talk to people that have moved away from Meijer-territory, and they'll likely say that it's something they really miss...

I miss Meijer.

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I know that the Caledonia D&W store had bag-carrying for a long time...was in the store last week grabbing my daily Starbucks fix, but didn't notice if they still offered the service or not.

My sister works there, she said they still hire a lot of high-school kids to do carry-out.

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I don't like when people carry my bags out to the car. It makes me feel lazy. Althought initially I didn't like the new bagging system at Meijer, I've gotten pretty good at working WITH the cashiers and the carousels. And you can't beat the self checkouts. If it saves me money, I'll do it.

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Exactly how I feel too GRDad :P Whenever I went to D&W it was usually more like a conveniance store trip where I had to get something now, and it was the closest place.

Most of the time I went through the express lane. But occasionally I had too much stuff, and having the bagger take out two or three bags made me feel pompous and snooty at times.

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I don't like when people carry my bags out to the car. It makes me feel lazy. Althought initially I didn't like the new bagging system at Meijer, I've gotten pretty good at working WITH the cashiers and the carousels. And you can't beat the self checkouts. If it saves me money, I'll do it.

I wont shop at Meijer unless the self checkout lanes are open.

I HATE when plainfield closes them early. grr.

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I wont shop at Meijer unless the self checkout lanes are open.

I HATE when plainfield closes them early. grr.

I hope you go with 12 or less itenms through those though.

Its one thing to have the ability to self-checkout, its another when you have a mom with her three kids screaming, and scanning their weekly groceries at the self checkout :angry:

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