Stop the presses, wake your neighbors and call your friends P & C is filling Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. If some company doesn’t buy the entire chain or pieces, P & C will fade into Syracuse supermarket history.
A supermarket for a neighborhood is an affirmation that there’s economic life, vitality, a measurement of commerce usually surrounded by ancillary shops that sell pizza, wings, subs, full dining and provide services like tax preparation, nail & hair care, urban boutiques and insurance services.
So, when it was announced that P&C was going down the bankruptcy route again I wasn’t surprised. Before closing the Valley Plaza P&C was a wreck, entering the facility was like walking into a sick store, it wasn’t like there weren’t people shopping there. It appeared to be neglected and forgotten this happens prior to closing a store it looks near empty and unkempt.
It’s becoming clear that P & C competing against Wegman’s and Price Chopper is like Kmart taking on Walmart.
Everything in grocery shopping is now much larger go to Wegman’s in Dewitt and navigate the distance of an entire football field to find paper towels or trash bags. Don’t take my comments the wrong way I love large stores especially the suburban ones that give better service than their urban counterparts regardless of the chains identity.
There are people with vehicles who’ll go to a suburban store for anything before paying a visit to a large chain operated neighborhood market, “the service just isn’t the same” claimed a mother of two as she remembered how “different” she felt shopping at the chains local neighborhood location, “the store was nasty”.
Perhaps the neighborhoods themselves should become proactive and provide a neighborhood based store. Neighborhood and community ownership may be the formula for areas large enough to sustain a non-profit community based enterprise driven by the need of area residents to have access to quality food, goods and services.
We’ve taken our “stimulus” funds and tore down vacant structures instead of building up neighborhood based urban shopping centers. Shopping centers profits just don’t fall from the sky, people have to have an income to sustain these local businesses operations. With the bottom falling out from under our manufacturing base Syracuse has to re-invent itself once again.
We need to re-direct our development funds towards small business and local job creation. When a company closes they leave ceramic workers from Syracuse China, Candle makers from the north side, hundreds of auto workers, people with years of experience who cannot find work in this economy.
Too bad we couldn’t have funded a small start up “China from Syracuse” or “Caskets made by the people formerly of Marcellus” or specialty candles from the once productive candle businesses of Syracuse’s north side. We have remnants of a manufacturing past with skilled individuals who could build anything.
Waiting for a great big plant to come save us is like believing in the Great Pumpkin. Our rebirth is going to occur, one, two, ten twenty jobs at a time. With talent we have from the grocery store and retail employment pools we must be able to find a few talented people willing to start over again from scratch.
These big chain stores crawled from the neighborhoods decades ago like growing dinosaurs gobbling up the smaller weaker species, now it’s time to return to the neighborhoods as we learn how to begin again.