In July of this year news broke that grocery store chain A&P was filing for bankruptcy for the second time in just five years. The A&P corporation, which owns 296 supermarket chains across the nation, including Pathmark and Superfresh, left many in the area wondering what the fate of their neighborhood grocery was.
This was especially the case for the Germantown Pathmark located at 176 W Chelten Ave. Last month the store’s fate was sealed when “store closing” signs began plastering the windows and walls. The announcement was met with an array of emotions.
Many community members expressed concern that the store would turn into another vacant lot in the neighborhood and said there was a strong need for a walkable full-service grocery store in the area.
Rayna Guy was born and raised in Germantown and continues to live and work in the community as a high school teacher.
“For all that I can remember about my childhood, Germantown was a place where Germantown residents could get everything that they needed. My mom didn’t have a car so proximity was of great importance,” she said, adding that despite her desire to support local retail, the Pathmark met little to none of her needs. “It’s insulting to feel that our neighborhood has somehow been deemed unworthy of quality food stores.”
The property has already been aquired by Norristown Thriftway, according to Andy Trackman, executive director of the Germantown United CDC.
“The Thriftway stores are independently owned and operated which may helpful in allowing the community to have more input in the types of food the store stocks,” said Trackman.
Members of the community have already begun compiling a list of brands and types of food that they would like to see on the shelves of the impending store.
And while all the details of the store’s fate have not yet been finalized, Trackman said conversations with owner Young Kim have been agreeable and that he seems open to having a dialogue with the Germantown community.
The Germantown Pathmark is expected to close within the month.