Lost in the Iggle. A screed.

They rearranged my Giant Eagle.

They didn’t just rearrange it; they changed every single thing.

Every department.

The former two door entrance is now one giant door.

Nothing is where it used to be, except for the milk. The milk I found. And the deli.

The floral moved. The bakery moved. The pharmacy moved all the whole freaking way across the store.

The diapers are where the organics used to be, the juice where the chips lived, the bread where the magazines were once perched. And because the entire store is a work in progress, things have moved multiple times. Just because you know where the bread is today, doesn’t mean you’ll know where it is tomorrow. Tomorrow it might be on the roof.

The prepared foods moved.

The salad bar took steroids, is fifteen times larger, and also moved.

The Iggle’s Nest got halved.

The floor is new.

The freezers are new.

The registers are new.

The conveyors are new.

They added a cafe with 4 million kinds of beer, but be warned, if you buy beer, you have to bag it yourself. I assume because the Liquor Control Board thinks that if a clerk bags your beer, Satan and the Prohibition Monster will eat the poor clerk’s soul.

They added a wine kiosk that was operational for a week before the kinks took it down. In this case, The Kinks is not a band.

In this case, the kinks is a myriad of things of bazillions of things that could go wrong with the technology that is required to have a resident of the Commonwealth stand in front of a giant glass fixture, select a nine-dollar bottle of wine that’s being guarded as if it’s King Louis XV The Beloved’s last surviving bottle of port, scan her driver’s license, scan her eyeball, scan her assprint, swab her DNA, insert five drops of blood into the depository, just so they can prove that she’s really a 36-year-old mother of two who just wants a bottle of California wine to take as a hostess gift.

All of this technology, of course, because the flip side, actually allowing the PEOPLE to sell the alcohol, would result in the immediate ruination of morals, the institutions of marriage and family, and the entire infrastructure of the State, leaving in its wake from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, a sea of drunks crawling from their cars to vomit in the turnpike potholes.

Not that I’m bitter.

So now when I go to my Giant Eagle, which by the way has instituted this complete overhaul in the hopes of combating the coming competition from a new Wal-Mart across the street where I will be able to buy avocados and limes for less than the market price of Maine lobster, I wander the aisles questioning why the mayonnaise is three aisles over from the mustard and ketchup aisle, while I’m surrounded by the confused elderly who are slowly pushing shopping carts full of milk and lunch meat while muttering, “I can’t find any damn thing in this damn place.”


Not that I’m bitter.

Also, Satan and the Prohibition Monsters would make a kickass band name.


  1. Butcher's Dog
    January 18, 2011 6:10 pm

    re: beer purchasing…South Carolina has beverage stores (beer and wine on one side, hard stuff on another) and beer and wine are available in grocery stores. Beer also in gas stations, but that’s probably not the greatest idea in the history of thought. Discount beverage stores are usually cheaper for beer unless grocery chains are running sales. All cheaper than PA distributors and State Stores. Gov. Corbett doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of changing this, because it’s up to the legislature and they don’t care. No one’s getting ridden out of office for making booze easier to come by and cheaper.

    WalMart’s cheaper in my hometown (we also have Aldi’s and small GE), but they stock what they feel like stocking and things are pretty far apart. Plus, they kill mom and pop places. At the end of the day no one’s listening to us little guys except Ginny, so it seems. Still, any time you’re feeling sorry for life here, think what the people of Haiti, for instance, would think of what we have.

  2. Butcher's Dog
    January 18, 2011 6:12 pm

    Actually meant to write “no one’s getting ridden out of office FOR NOT making booze easier to come by and cheaper.” Could be a groundswell against those who enable those of us with adult beverage tastes.

  3. angelgirl
    January 18, 2011 6:15 pm

    I was told that the GE stores are going to be getting face lifts… because of the fact that Wegmans is coming… This is purely a RUMOR… I do not have proof of this fact… will be interesting to see if all of the GE’s go through a “facelift”… making our lives miserable by switching every blasted thing around!

  4. YinzerInExile
    January 18, 2011 7:10 pm

    The ONLY thing that I dread when I while away hours in godforsaken Georgia time, planning my inevitable return to the land of my birth, is the booze situation. I’ve been able to buy wine and beer in grocery stores since college. That is NOT going to be an easy thing to unlearn.

    And I can’t for the life of me figure out how states with even more ridiculous blue laws (For example, had I still lived in Connecticut, I could not have bought beer, wine or liquor yesterday. Because it was a holiday.So a tarp would be pulled down over the beer, and the lights would be off in the wine isle.)have managed to sort out some kind of actual . . . convenience . . . whereas good ole PA is still toiling along on the verge of another Whiskey Rebellion.

  5. BeauJacques
    January 18, 2011 8:02 pm


    It’s called FREE ENTERPRISE

    Not another sorry-ass politically-protected state union, tell the old lady to start resumes!!

  6. John B.
    January 18, 2011 8:36 pm

    I had been to the Irwin GE so many times, I remember when it had fake plastic grapes on the ceiling and it was bordered by the Murphy Mart. Since I’ve moved up here to the mountains, though I’ve been in there (possibly) three times since 07 and I could only imagine how confused (and possibly scared) I would be in there, now. But then again I remember that place before the cookie-cutter housing plans replaced the farms, chain stores and congestion. And considering I’m only 31 that wasn’t THAT long ago!

    And in reply to #6: The traffic is already unbearable every time I’m in NHT. I could only imagine what’ll happen when the Wally World opens.

  7. cmd_45
    January 18, 2011 8:41 pm

    I wouldn’t hold your breath on better organization of the GE store. We live in a non-Pittsburgh location and our new store was built several years ago when a large shopping complex went up. The store is ENORMOUS and I can never find anything. Seriously, one day I spent half an hour looking for marshmallows and left empty-handed. The layout is weird and user-unfriendly and the prices are atrocious. Also, the traffic pattern in the parking lot is horrible, although that is probably not GE’s fault. Only shop there if I need something quick and I’m in the area.

  8. Allie K.
    January 18, 2011 9:11 pm

    Could be worse folks, you could live in Arizona.
    Where yes, you can buy beer in the grocery stores, but it’s not a good local brew (there aren’t any, unless you go to the source), you can get liquor too, but only four kinds (same with wine), and yes, there is a starbucks, but I can’t get chipped ham. Could be worse.

  9. Clementine
    January 18, 2011 9:25 pm

    I once attended a business seminar alongside some of the GE management team… interesting experience. I think the marketing dept must run the show over there.

    I support my local Kuhns, and they support workers with disabilities. Win, win. I know right where the refried beans and strawberry cake mix can be found, can do a full grocery shop in under 20 minutes, and know most of the cashiers by name. And there’s always somebody around to help you out! Win, win, win. Although it’s a good idea to double-check expiration dates (small store, slow turnover.)

  10. Shibori
    January 18, 2011 11:20 pm

    If yinz are finding state store employees that are helpful and friendly, that $173,000 contract awarded to the consultant wife of a state store regional manager to improve “courtesy, friendliness and knowledge” must be working. The employees at my local state stores are sullen, creepy, and have trouble with even basic questions about their merchandise.

    Luckily, I live close enough to Morgantown that if I don’t mind being a scofflaw, I can get a much better selection at a much better price with better customer service.

    For example, at the Suncrest Town Center Kroger where I regularly shop, they have an extensive selection of wines (including local ones) and craft beers, and knowledgeable and friendly clerks and managers who are empowered to make buying decisions at the store level. One Saturday, I asked if they could get the larger (wine-size) bottles of Lindemann’s Frambois, and by the next Friday they were on the shelf, cheaper than Giant Eagle, and I could buy as many as I wanted. And if you buy six bottles of wine, you get a discount and a free reusable wine shopping bag. No hassle, no blowing in glorified, non-functioning ATMs, no separate trips for wine and beer.

  11. Clair
    January 19, 2011 1:46 am

    :::perk::: Wegmans coming to western PA? Boy if that rumor is true…that would be great. I LOVE Wegmans…they are the cheapest store around, yes even beating WalMart on a lot of items (at least here in northern Virginia). Those who dislike the Market DIstrict stores may not like Wegmans at first but…ahh, love….lol

    Anyway…saw that and had to say how good it would be to see a Wegmans up there. My mom (still lives in the Burgh) would be happy too.

  12. bucdaddy
    January 19, 2011 1:56 am

    The bad news is, they rebuilt my Iggle too, and I’m still trying to find the salad dressing.

    The good news is, they rebuilt it to put in a liquor department and expand (supposedly) the wine and beer aisle.

    Oh, did I mention it’s in West Virginia?

    You Pennsylvanians are soooooo 20th century.

    And our state budget runs a surplus, too.

  13. bucdaddy
    January 19, 2011 2:15 am


    I live a mile from that Kroger. We should hook up. I’ll show you where Slight Indulgence is too, a bottle shop/wine store/gourmet food shop. The prices are higher but it’s local people.

    Ironically, before West Virginia upped the AVB law from 6% to 12% I used to drive to Point Marion to buy good beer by the case. I still do from time to time, just cause I like the guy who runs it the place, but ever so slowly as good beer filters into West Virginia, I don’t have to do that much anymore.

  14. AngryMongo
    January 19, 2011 8:33 am


    Ahem, my Fayette Nam roots are showing…

  15. Sooska
    January 19, 2011 9:04 am

    Grocers do this rearrangement in order for you to spend more money on unplanned buys.

    Please God, bring us Wegman’s. They are fantastic. So much better than the Iggle or Shop N Save.

    THOROFARE? what about ACME?

  16. Butcher's Dog
    January 19, 2011 9:48 am

    @bucdaddy: 20th Century? Puh-leaze! I’m thinking 19th Century at best.

    @Clair: there’s already a Wegmans in Erie, which is technically Western PA but not so functionally that it helps much for those in the Burg.

    Is the grass always greener on the other side? Or does it just seem that way from these posts? Discuss.

  17. spoon
    January 19, 2011 10:12 am

    Giant Eagle on Cochran Road/Greentree Road is the absolute worst store ever developed. You can’t get more than 1 person down an aisle and the deli area can barely fit 6 people.

    Wow I can’t believe I missed out on PLCB talk. damn that new baby sucking all my time.

    Scott, I feel for ya man. Your wife probably gets beat up more than a tax collector.

    mindymin, you know best out of everyone from the business end on here what its like to deal with them. Everyone, listen to her.

    People. If you want to read a great blog without all of the media bullshit check out http://noplcb.blogspot.com/

    Let’s also not forget the Philly Beer Raids of 2010 which Lew talked to me about here:

    Whomever it was up there that said beer is cheaper in PA than OH, dude you’re getting ripped off. Granted they do have a cap on alcohol % in beer but do yourself a favor and go to Vintage Estate in Boardman OH, the #1 beer store in the world! (seriously, they were named that in 2010). You’ll see the light there. http://vewinebeer.com/

  18. PK
    January 19, 2011 10:42 am

    Just to digress from the beer for a moment…and those ridiculous wine kiosks…interesting that GE is rearranging/remodeling/reinvesting in all of these other stores, apparently at the same time. Well, except one – the GE on Shakespeare Street in East Liberty. No new floor, no paint, not even a re-arranged freezer. Nothing.

    I don’t want to assume that this particular store is on the wait list because its underperforming, because it sure as hell seems busy every time I’m there. Then again, the clientele is a slightly different demographic than the Waterfront or N. Huntingdon. Again, trying not to make assumptions…then again…

  19. Jenny
    January 19, 2011 10:53 am

    Giant Eagle in N. Huntingdon/Irwin= hell on earth. The cashiers are miserable bitches.

  20. AngryMongo
    January 19, 2011 10:55 am

    @PK There are probably a million ways to dissect how and why a store changes. The Bob Evans in Irwin was torn down and rebuilt to match the rest of the stores. No more saloon doors in the entrance. LOL.

    I forget if it Bob Evans or another chain that would totally redo their store based on performance. After 10 years if they were high performers, 15 for mediocre, and 20 and they would shut down. Don’t quote me on that…

    There are people, probably in every retail or grocery store company, that are solely responsible for finding new ways to maximize revenue through layout reorganization. They check against industry standards, trends, metrics, all kinds of stuff.

    I’m guessing that either a GE changes or upgrades due to their performance or whether or not they are a franchise or solely owned, as in the case of Penn Twp. They still maintain the same style as the old Scozio’s.

  21. Andrea
    January 19, 2011 11:39 am

    We all have love/hate with GE. But what really goes in their favor for me is that they are western PA based and they are pretty generous with charitable organizations. Ask around…

    The closest Wegman’s is State College. Every time I am in one I take a comment card and write in the largest print I can find PLEASE COME TO PITTSBURGH.
    Maybe we could launch a grass roots campaign….

  22. sleepgh
    January 19, 2011 11:54 am

    I thought I heard a long time ago that some stores are corporate owned, and some are independently owned. The Virginia Manor one, independent. The Market District on Centre, corporate.
    Can anyone confirm this?

    Also, I agree with whoever above (sorry too lazy to go back) said that it’s good that you know the price of Jack Daniels is the same here as it is in Philly, as it is in DuBois. At least you don’t have to drive around trying to get the best deal.

  23. AngryMongo
    January 19, 2011 12:20 pm

    @sleepgh 20 minutes to WV to get cheaper liquor is one thing. Driving three hours, across state, indicates a problem.


  24. Carol
    January 19, 2011 12:28 pm

    Love/hate GiantEagleMarketDistrict.
    I’ve shopped at their various Robinson stores for decades. The new one (shudder) is immense and is the most chaotic store I’ve ever been in.
    That said…the employees are super. Hubby is one of those guys you have to disguise veggies for, he did decide to love Hanover Sugar Snap Peas. They don’t carry them anymore which I found after a clerk searched for me. He then found the store label version and gave me a coupon for a FREE bag, just so I could try them.
    On Monday night, a holiday, plus a snow in the forecast day, the store was crazy. Was looking for beef shank w/bone for soup but couldn’t see it anywhere. So I went over to the meat dept and asked a guy at the counter, he says there should be some and goes to look. Nope, and says I’ll be back. Another guy appears to look, he doesn’t find it either, and says I’ll cut some for yah. Brought out four packages.

    It’s taken over a year for me to get used to that place, I still get confused, things still get moved around…but… WalmartisDestroyingAmerica, I hate the Shop and Save near me, so to the Iggle I go. (when I have an extra 2 hours)

  25. Wegmans > GE
    January 19, 2011 1:09 pm

    I used to work at Wegmans.

    Best. Store. Ever.

    Giant Eagle is literally ripping off Wegmans with the new store design. But the problem is that you can’t ripoff what makes Wegmans truly great.

    Giant Eagle still has nothing on Wegmans.

    Wegmans has better quality food, lower prices, and a better culture.

    Giant Eagle can suck it.

  26. unsatisfied
    January 19, 2011 1:13 pm

    wegman’s = ok.

    give me ukrop’s.

    those of you in the richmond, va area know what I’m talking about.

  27. UncleLarry
    January 19, 2011 2:41 pm

    OMG – You shop at my Giant Eagle!! I see everyone I know at Giant Eagle especially when I go there for a quick second in my PJ’s and haven’t brushed my teeth…But I huz come I’ve never seen you? From now on,I’m going to be on the look out for ya. No not stalking. I just want to tell you in person how much I enjoy your blog & articles. You are frigging hilarious!!!

  28. djh
    January 19, 2011 2:42 pm

    I shop in the strip and the city farmers markets for produce, but I live close enough to walk. I also know better than to shop on a Saturday. Pen Mac cheeses are cheaper that GE – by almost half for some. I only hit the neighbor hood dirty bird for the odd stuff ie garbage bags, tp, paper towels. Never been in a WalMart.

  29. elysianfantasy
    January 19, 2011 3:05 pm

    Am I the only weird one who finds grocery shopping at Giant Eagle pleasurable? I like my Market District (Shadyside), I can find everything I’m looking for (granted, they are reconfiguring right now which may affect my carefully memorized layout of the store), and I save my beer and wine purchases for when I go home to Ohio to visit the fam (or if you’re like me, you lose your mind at a wine-tasting event on the Chautaqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail and buy 15 bottles, thus making it easy for you not to buy wine almost a year later). I’m happy with them. And the crab cakes from their prepared foods section = yummy! They’re like 90% crab and 10% breadcrumbs. Not bad. Seriously, though, perhaps I don’t mind it as much cause I really do save a considerable amount of money when I go. I’m a coupon freak. :)

    Now if you want to talk grocery store abominations, the Shur-Save in Bloomfield = SCARY. I saw them hawking GREEN meat! The shelves are dirty, cans are dented…*shudder*

  30. YinzerInExile
    January 19, 2011 11:39 pm

    @unsatisfied — Every time I walk into my local Ghetto Lion I close my eyes real tight and wish like hell that I was back in college (Fredericksburg) and shopping at Ukrops. I farking LOVE that store. Would practically double my grocery bill over the Giant across the street from me, but totally worth the extra cost and the 15 minutes in traffic. Their produce was *fab*.

  31. Burgh is the Word
    January 19, 2011 11:45 pm

    I miss shopping at the Ol’ Dirty Bird in North Oakland.

    How many grocery stores do you know when you can get bread, milk, cheese and herpes all in the same aisle?

    Come to think of it that Giant Eagle may have been condemned or burnt to the ground by a disgruntled cart boy after he had to hunt down another cart on North Craig because some jagoff walked all the way home with it.

    Oh sweet memories….

  32. Kim
    January 20, 2011 10:07 am

    This is my Giant Eagle and it is driving me insane. I usually shop on Sunday mornings and every Sunday things are moved around. Just when I think they are finished they move things around again. I was just there on Sunday and a good chunk of the food items had been moved. I had to run in quickly on Wednesday and things have changed again in just 3 days. I can’t wait until they are finished!