Main & Vine closing in January

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SamSpade
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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by SamSpade » December 4th, 2017, 10:22 pm

The Fred Meyer has been ready to open for months, but local issues have caused the opening date to be pushed back a few times.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/busi ... 08541.html You can see in that story the News Tribune has linked to 3 previous stories about the store. Apparently winter reared its head so things had to wait for January?

Previously, they tried to get the city to allow them to https://patch.com/washington/gigharbor/ ... gig-harbor build a store of 100,000 sf in the same location and they wouldn't allow the expansion. With all the changes in FM lately, I suppose it's probably not a huge loss.

As for Main & Vine, it kind of reminded me of New Seasons but not quite executed as well. NSM is actively expanding into Puget Sound and PCC Natural Markets is reinventing itself as well.
Here was my experience last year -
(my non-grocery curious S.O): The first question from them was "Oh, I really like this noodle bowl sauce, they should add it back home" and before that "this looks just like Fred Meyer, what's different?" The store does kind of have some of the same elements of the newest Fred Meyer remodels (higher-level service departmehts, large prepared foods deli area)... I had a nice enough pre-tossed salad and there are several self checkouts. When we were there the store was moderately busy (April?). I thought the store felt/looked like someone copying New Seasons Market.

I was very disappointed after an experience. Wanting to buy an orange and randomly seeing a produce smith asking if I needed help, I asked about picking out the orange. She ended up helping me pick out the worst orange I've had in some time - very grainy / mealy and not juicy at all and honestly well below the typical find at higher-end Pacific Northwest grocers. I ended up discarding it after opening it the next day.


The larger QFC here in Portland was making personal pizzas for a time but is now doing the (trendy?) Roman style and only selling over-priced slices. I don't really see anything else worked in from Main & Vine in the Portland area, yet. The new Starbucks in many Fred Meyer and Smith's Marketplace stores look similar to the coffee & beer bar in Main & Vine but also just follow Starbucks current looks. When I was in Utah, a Smith's Marketplace had Asian food but it was more like Safeway's Chinese bar, rather than a ramen and stir fry noodle bar.

Edit: I remembered that many of our area Fred Meyer stores have added the frozen foods "skillet meal" section where you can mix and match at $5.99/lb. They are in a frozen case near most meat & seafood departments and generally offering samples every weekend.

pseudo3d
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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by pseudo3d » January 7th, 2018, 2:40 am

Looks like Main & Vine closed a few days earlier (January 4th). It sure didn't last long, nor did the Main & Vine website talk about lessons learned or if shoppers can see anything similar at Fred Meyer.

https://www.mainandvineshop.com/

storewanderer
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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by storewanderer » January 7th, 2018, 9:09 am

This needs to be a lesson to Kroger Corporate and the micromanagement they have been imposing, and continue to impose, over the divisions over the past couple of years. Whether or not it will be, remains to be seen. They developed this format at the Corporate level.

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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by babs » January 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm

storewanderer wrote:
January 7th, 2018, 9:09 am
This needs to be a lesson to Kroger Corporate and the micromanagement they have been imposing, and continue to impose, over the divisions over the past couple of years. Whether or not it will be, remains to be seen. They developed this format at the Corporate level.
Keep in mind Kroger is a chain. Just with different names around the country. QFC has been dumbed down over the years from a semi upscale store to a run of the mill Kroger. It's not upscale anymore. QFC has a really small corporate staff and they do have buyers to localize some products. Real estate decisions are made out of the Kroger West office (Fred Meyer in Portland), Store design is done at corporate.

I'm not sure what the deal with Main & Vine was. It might have been nothing more than an opportunity play. They had a vacant store, someone at QFC convinced someone at corporate to experiment with some new ideas. If it worked, they look like a genius. If it didn't, well retirement is an option. I think sales missed the mark pretty much immediately, as it tilted a bit too heavily towards service departments and lacked the grocery staples most were looking for. So staff and hours were cut which led to the junky look of the store after only a few months. And the downward spiral continued.

The best regionalization that I've seen in retail grocery is at Costco. The selection between regions varys extensively. They don't get the credit they deserve for localizing their selection.

storewanderer
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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by storewanderer » January 7th, 2018, 7:44 pm

I feel like QFC is still more upscale than Smiths. But then as I think about it more, maybe not. Smiths has USDA Choice Beef, Boar's Head, etc. now just like QFC did for years prior, which were things that in the past that Smiths lacked that made QFC seem more upscale.

The QFC that converted to Main & Vine was an operating QFC. Kroger closed the store only to remodel/convert it into Main & Vine. I believe it was a marginally performing QFC but by no means a poor performer. Based on what I heard about Main & Vine, it was a Kroger idea, not a QFC idea. QFC got to execute it. Maybe Sprouts can take the building over; it is already laid out in a manner that would be pretty consistent with a Sprouts.

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Re: Main & Vine closing in January

Post by pseudo3d » January 7th, 2018, 7:52 pm

babs wrote:
January 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm
storewanderer wrote:
January 7th, 2018, 9:09 am
This needs to be a lesson to Kroger Corporate and the micromanagement they have been imposing, and continue to impose, over the divisions over the past couple of years. Whether or not it will be, remains to be seen. They developed this format at the Corporate level.
Keep in mind Kroger is a chain. Just with different names around the country. QFC has been dumbed down over the years from a semi upscale store to a run of the mill Kroger. It's not upscale anymore. QFC has a really small corporate staff and they do have buyers to localize some products. Real estate decisions are made out of the Kroger West office (Fred Meyer in Portland), Store design is done at corporate.

I'm not sure what the deal with Main & Vine was. It might have been nothing more than an opportunity play. They had a vacant store, someone at QFC convinced someone at corporate to experiment with some new ideas. If it worked, they look like a genius. If it didn't, well retirement is an option. I think sales missed the mark pretty much immediately, as it tilted a bit too heavily towards service departments and lacked the grocery staples most were looking for. So staff and hours were cut which led to the junky look of the store after only a few months. And the downward spiral continued.

The best regionalization that I've seen in retail grocery is at Costco. The selection between regions varys extensively. They don't get the credit they deserve for localizing their selection.
They should've called Main & Vine an "experiment" from the start instead of a new concept or whatever. That way, they could re-jigger the merchandise mix and save face when it closed.

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