By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

Pictured above outside the Shinnston Shop ‘N Save location are some of the employees, all of whom are anxious for customers’ reactions to the new Price Cutter savings. They are anticipating a large influx of traffic on Grand Opening Day with customers eager to try the new private label items.

Jamieson Family Markets owns and operates nine Shop ‘N Save locations – with six in West Virginia and three in Pennsylvania.

Several of these are located right here in our immediate area … in Shinnston, Adamston, Bridgeport, Manningto, Fairmont, and Morgantown.  Plans have been discussed for some time about making some major changes, and these changes are finally coming to fruition – one store at a time.   The first of those major changes is a name change.  Shinnston Shop ‘N Save will soon be known as Price Cutter … and that is literally what is going to transpire!  Customers will notice this impact at the checkout.

Shinnston store manager Rod Ashcraft stated, “This change will match us more with many of our competitors, and customers will reap the benefits of the savings.  We will have a new supplier – Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) – which is one of the largest grocery wholesalers in the U.S. and the nation’s oldest grocery cooperative. They have enjoyed over 90 years of growth and success and truly pride themselves on quality.  Because our supplier is changing, customers will also be witnessing the appearance of two new private labels – Best Choice and Always Save on our shelves.  But we’ll still be carrying the familiar national brands as well.”

Ashcraft noted that the owner and store managers had attended a meeting and were given samples to try.  He said the quality of the new brands of products is “amazing”.

AWG’s headquarters is located in Kansas City; however, goods will be coming from their warehouse in Nashville, TN.

“This is the company’s first entry into the West Virginia market,” Ashcraft added.  “And they commented that they’ve never before experienced a store owner being so aggressive about lowering prices which will be a great benefit to his  customers.”

Within the next week or two, passersby will see the Shop ‘N Save store signage coming down and the Price Cutter name going up.  And the changes will begin to take place.

“There are many things that will not change, though,” Ashcraft continued.  “The same employees remain with us so customers will see the very same faces; they just won’t be wearing red Shop ‘N Save shirts any longer.  New shirts will be gray and display the Price Cutter name.  We’ll still have our deli and bakery and fresh cut meats.  Customers will also still be able to take advantage of our Rewards program as well as our Pump Perks.  However, as this change takes place, we’ll have a table set up to issue new cards that will reflect our new name.”

Ashcraft said this was a huge decision for owner Tom Jamieson to make.

“With a keen focus on making prices much more affordable for customers, he knew he could find a way to make that happen.  However, all of these changes are also a very costly endeavor.  He is actually of age to retire, but Mr. Jamieson said that with 1,100 employees who depend on him to earn a living, he felt a strong obligation to those who have helped him make his stores such a success through the years and wanted to keep them employed.  I can speak only for our store employees, but they are a great team and we’re all very excited to move forward with these coming changes.  Certainly our customers will be pleased too as they notice lower prices.”

How soon will it be before you’re shopping at Shinnston’s new Price Cutter food store?  Ashcraft says they are planning their Grand Opening for June 7th, and the celebration will include giveaways and LOTS of specials.  Watch for further details.