Rothesay — New Brunswick’s least progressive town is aflutter over recent changes to the layout at the Atlantic Superstore, which many are calling “confusing” and “scary.”
“Rothesay residents do not like change. Remember the food truck fiasco of 2014?” asked Superstore customer Mark Wright, who had been trying to locate saltines for 40 minutes, and eventually just grabbed a pack of goldfish crackers another customer had stuck into a dairy refrigerator. “Bill Bishop was right all along — there’s nothing worse than something different.”
Bill Bishop, the municipality’s longest serving politician, left his post as mayor in 2016. These days, Mayor Nancy Grant is calling the shots, but her take on the rearranged grocery store was anything but fresh.
“You have to know Rothesay. It’s not your regular community,” said a flustered Grant, who was pushing an empty cart around the cosmetics aisle — or what used to be the cosmetics aisle. “We really don’t like change — it freaks us out. Before this Superstore disaster I considered myself a fan of novelty, a promoter of innovation, but this layout is bonkers! It’s like they rotated everything 90 degrees and absolutely nothing is where it should be.
“I’m looking for lipstick and suddenly I’m in the freakin’ seafood section! Hello, does anybody even work here?!”
We tracked down a Superstore manager, who told us that the layout switch was across the board in Atlantic Canada — not just in Rothesay.
“I know for a fact that Fredericton and many other stores moved things around, and people adapted right away,” said Dave Williams, from his office overlooking the chaos of the store. “Rothesay shoppers are a different breed, though. I swear I’ve been watching some of them circle the store for hours without putting anything in their carts. They’re like lemmings. They just can’t cope.”
The layout update marks the first time anything much has happened in Rothesay since 2015, the year Rothesay did something.