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TOUR: Brothers Foodmax - Lancaster, PA

Brothers Foodmax
Owner: Adriano Gomez
Opened: 2018
Cooperative: Associated Supermarket Group (?)
 920 S Duke St, Lancaster, PA
Photographed: August 20, 2019
Yesterday's store was in a former Family Dollar, which moved across the street around 2017. When the Family Dollar moved, it moved into the newly-constructed Conestoga River Plaza, anchored by that store and an 11,000 square foot Brothers Foodmax supermarket. This is Brothers' second location in town, with a smaller Brothers International Supermarket in the next block west (we'll be headed there tomorrow). Brothers also annouced they were opening a store around the same time at 625 E Orange St in Lancaster, which may have been canceled as no visible progress has been made on the site and they've since opened another new store in Lebanon, PA, about 25 miles north.
There are quite a few interesting things about this store, the first of which is the decor. As we'll see, the decor appears to be entirely either secondhand from a closed Bottom Dollar, or perhaps just by the same design firm. Second, it kind of felt like this store never fully opened and was already beginning to wind down (when I visited in 2019). The exterior sign was never installed, with just a small banner of the store's name that has since been removed and not replaced with anything. On the inside, I found the store lacking a lot of stock and many of the typical things we see in supermarkets -- a lot of price tags were handwritten, there was no circular, and the storebrand (if I remember correctly) was split between mostly Avenue A from ASG and some Krasdale.
The Lebanon store seems to be doing just fine, and I don't entirely understand why the stock was so low here. I would expect that if the store were preparing to close, but over three years later, it's still up and running.
Produce is in the first aisle, with dairy on the back wall. Frozen and meat are in the last aisle, with deli/bakery and hot food in the front left corner. As we see, there was very little stock in most of the dairy department. Notice the Bottom Dollar decor and signage.
In the grocery aisles, we see again some conspicuous holes along with Bottom Dollar aisle markers. The storebrand products are mostly Avenue A, but I haven't otherwise heard that this store is affiliated with ASG.
Not much to choose from as far as juice and beverages go, except for iced tea which was fully stocked. (Is that direct from a vendor, like Turkey Hill?)
If this store were better stocked and a little better-run, it would be a very nice place. It's the only supermarket in southeastern Lancaster.
Meat department mostly stocked -- again strange, because when we see stores struggling with stock because they are failing, the perishables departments are the first to go.
Frozen foods are opposite the meat department. These cases are definitely secondhand from somewhere else.
And in the front we have a nearly-barren deli and hot food department. I believe the hot food department did eventually open, I'm just confused why it was in this state when I visited. It seemed like the store started off fully operational, then declined to this point, then improved and re-stocked the whole place given that they haven't closed and reviews online don't seem to have problems that I encountered here.
And a look across the front-end, which as we can see is nice and bright with the large windows. I'd be interested to check out the Lebanon store at some point, where I haven't been yet. As I mentioned, there's one more grocery store right here that we'll check out before we leave the area, which will be tomorrow here on The Independent Edition!


  1. Knowing the shopping carts are easily recognizable as those from Bottom Dollar, it wouldn't surprise me if much of the fixtures and/or decor is from BD as well. That color scheme is very unorthodox in the era of predominantly black or grey color schemes in most retail in the modern day.

    1. Definitely. I'm pretty sure everything in this store, maybe even including all the fixtures, is from a Bottom Dollar.


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