If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

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Super S
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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by Super S » September 14th, 2017, 8:46 am

As for chains, I can't really think of one. Seriously. Safeway-Albertsons (including Haggen) are one company now, QFC and Fred Meyer are owned by Kroger, and no other chains really stand out to me. Too many chains have been gobbled up by the bigger ones and there are way too many similarities these days.

I would like to see more independents that can cater to what locals prefer, but that is wishful thinking any more. Most people put price above all else and have the perception that the big chain is always cheaper, which is not always true.

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by pseudo3d » September 14th, 2017, 10:02 am

Super S wrote:As for chains, I can't really think of one. Seriously. Safeway-Albertsons (including Haggen) are one company now, QFC and Fred Meyer are owned by Kroger, and no other chains really stand out to me. Too many chains have been gobbled up by the bigger ones and there are way too many similarities these days.

I would like to see more independents that can cater to what locals prefer, but that is wishful thinking any more. Most people put price above all else and have the perception that the big chain is always cheaper, which is not always true.


Probably true. But even local stores are hit and miss. Thinking of Village Foods, the "local store" that closed a few years ago, there just wasn't enough of a draw to keep it open and viable (plus, there was only one location). It prided on carrying lots of locally-produced items and some "natural" items that others didn't, but that really created an odd merchandise mix because it also wasn't in a great neighborhood either. The end result was that it had some pretty good deli items and did do requests, but it faltered in everything else (store was old and not very clean, produce was always banged up, much more expensive than anything else, seafood never had the volume it needed to stay fresh, merchandise mix wasn't very good at all, bakery was average, etc.). The Aldi that replaced it is a third of its size but honestly is a good replacement.

You're right, I don't know about stores. I'm suspicious about Wegmans, as it tends to focus on perishables and not so much a good center store mix. Meijer, while interesting and a viable Walmart competitor, isn't much to write home about. Realistically, I'd say Trader Joe's but if we had to go with full-line, I want Randalls, just so we have an Albertsons brand in town. It has to be near campus, though, so it can take pressure off of H-E-B, because between some surprising significant service-related quibbles and the crushing crowds, going to H-E-B is a miserable experience, and I want to let them understand that they're only "winning" because they're the closest to campus and not the best store, and having a Randalls just off of campus should make that painfully clear.

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by ValuedCustomer » September 14th, 2017, 11:14 am

Wegmans hands down. There is nothing else like it. Now that they're going into North Carolina maybe they will make it here to Atlanta one day. They'd do really well here. Internationally I like the food stores that M&S operate in the UK and think something like that would do really well in NYC and other big cities - especially as Manhattan's supermarkets are so lousy. But M&S has a pretty bad track record in North America and are retrenching in Europe too - having closed their much-hyped Paris flagship in late 2016.

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by BillyGr » September 14th, 2017, 12:20 pm

ValuedCustomer wrote:They'd do really well here. Internationally I like the food stores that M&S operate in the UK and think something like that would do really well in NYC and other big cities - especially as Manhattan's supermarkets are so lousy.


Not really sure how much of that can be fixed - the supermarkets are different than what most are used to in other areas, but so are the conditions - it's just not (in most cases, anyhow) possible to have a store the size that most supermarkets elsewhere are with the existing spaces and the costs of property and still offer items at a somewhat reasonable price point. Also, since space is hard to find you don't get the upgrading seen elsewhere as stores aren't closing and being replaced as frequently as they are most places.

pseudo3d wrote:
Super S wrote:You're right, I don't know about stores. I'm suspicious about Wegmans, as it tends to focus on perishables and not so much a good center store mix.


They do focus on the outsides and the prepared items, which makes them a bit harder to find useful (overall) if they aren't within a reasonable distance of you (since it's harder to transport those items, and not feasible to travel that distance frequently.
They also tend to get the reputation of being expensive, but that is primarily from those same areas - carrying more unusual items will do that as they are likely either less available and more costly to start with, purchased in smaller quantities and/or have more issues with waste if they don't sell as frequently.
The stuff in the center can actually be equal to or cheaper than other stores (for items that both sell) - they don't necessarily have a worse mix, just less of some items, more like an Aldi or similar would do. Carrying, for instance, only a couple brands of item x, or only one size of item y rather than all the duplicates you find in many items in most stores (and that probably helps with the better deals overall, since they can buy more of the brands/sizes they do carry).

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by Brian Lutz » September 15th, 2017, 1:16 pm

If we're not worried about anything like practicality, it would be interesting to see how Publix would do in a different area. They seem like a pretty strong operation in their home area but also seem like they benefit from generally weak competitors.

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by Ohio Man » September 16th, 2017, 9:31 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:If we're not worried about anything like practicality, it would be interesting to see how Publix would do in a different area. They seem like a pretty strong operation in their home area but also seem like they benefit from generally weak competitors.



Very good point. I'm old enough to remember when they were far from dominant on their home turf in Florida. They once had Food Fair, Grand Union, and a much stronger Winn Dixie to compete with. And to be fair, Publix made improvements over the years--dropping the S&H Green Stamps and lowering prices, among other things. The only other market they are in that I visit with any regularity is Knoxville, and they haven't been there that long--they have three stores that I believe are all on west side of that town, in upscale areas. But they have Kroger, WalMart, Ingles and Food City to compete against, all of which have their strengths, though I've personally never been all that impressed by Food City.

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by SamSpade » September 28th, 2017, 9:28 pm

Small chain: Harmons, based in Utah
Medium-sized chain: Market Street (other United formats are actually pretty nice, a new / modern United would be OK but I really like Market Street's deli/coffee/etc setup)
Central Market or H.E.B. due to the shining community service and excellent house-brand items
Large chain: Stater Bros. (newer location) or
Aldi, just because I see the amazing things my chef friend in Kansas City's bought there / done with their product

Otherwise we pretty much have everything here -
Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer for the multi-department retailers with a grocery component
Whole Foods, New Seasons, Market of Choice, Zupans for the higher-end
Albertsons, Safeway, QFC for the middle-upper middle of the road supermarket
WinCo Foods for the budget, 24 hour warehouse shopper
Trader Joe's or Green Zebra ($$$) for the small-format shopper
Independents holding on in various small pockets, especially outside the city

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Re: If you could bring one supermarket chain to your area which one would it be?

Post by Knight » October 10th, 2017, 1:06 am

wnetmacman wrote:
September 13th, 2017, 7:44 pm
I'm in Louisiana. We don't have much competition here. I'd like to see Publix and HEB duke it out here with Rouses.
Louisiana should be doable for Publix after it enters Mississippi.

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