Tuesday, November 13, 2012

11.13.12 Bee-otch of the Day: Spartan Stores

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.

Name: Spartan Stores
Age: 95
Occupation: grocery giant
Last Seen: Byron Township, MI
Bee-otched For: killing off a northern Michigan tradition


A part of northern Michigan history will come to an end come next year.
Spartan Stores announced that they will eventually kill off the Glen's Markets name after they renovate all 30 of its locations. Already, two former Glen's stores in Traverse City have new banners.
The new name for Glen's? Family Fare.
Yep, Spartan is going to expand its Grand Rapids flagship to northern Michigan, thinking that what works in Grand Rapids works up north.
The death of Glen's ends a legacy of what began in 1951 when Glen Catt started his grocery store in a 3,000-square-foot building in downtown Gaylord. Soon, the building was expanded and Catt added on several more locations of his store. Soon, there were Glen's Markets in most bigger northern Michigan towns with some very rare exceptions, including Traverse City. The closest Glen's to the Cherry Capitol was in Kalkaska, the town Catt grew up in.
Glen's was passed down to two more generations of Glen Catts until 1999 when the family sold out to Spartan Stores, their distributor since day one. Spartan - formerly a co-op where stores shared the same buying power to keep their prices low - was now a publicly-traded company that still distributed to their stores, but also owned them as well.
In northern Michigan, Spartan got Glen's, plus Ashcraft's in central Michigan and Prevo's based in Traverse City. In west Michigan, they ended up with Great Day and later on, D&W and Felpausch. Not long ago, Spartan took over Flint's VG's. Plus, they ended up with Food Town in Toledo only to shutter their 40 stores due to poor sales.
This isn't the first time Spartan has done any housecleaning; they killed off Great Day, Felpausch and Ashcraft's all in the name of consolidation, plus Prevo's. Ironically, the two ex-Glen's stores in Traverse City were Prevo's, including their 8th Street location, which was the once-prosperous chain's sole location for years.
But, that's business. Spartan cares more about the bottom line instead of preserving heritage. Hell, that's one probable reason why they eliminated their popular warrior logo for what I call the "toothpaste swirl". I'm happy to say that there's many of their family-owned stores trying to switch brands because Spartan is becoming more and more caring for their O&O's over their indie stores, especially those who have been with them for decades. Truth be told, this is one reason why I like shopping at a smaller, family owned store over something corporate like Spartan. Hell, I have a Family Fare up the street and two D&W's within close driving range and I almost never go to any of them. Too expensive and I just don'wanna.
Glen's, you'll be sorely missed.


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