Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by storewanderer » July 1st, 2018, 12:06 am

Largo could make a nice Publix... since it is so large (former Jewel).

The other two are just dumps. Old Skaggs Albertsons combo stores. I do not like those old stores at all; don't like the ones in NorCal, didn't like the ones in Oklahoma, or the ones I went to in Texas. I am sure they were nice stores at their time but their time is long past.

I find this significant since they debuted a new interior in FL, this was the first organic expansion of the banner "Safeway" into a new market since... probably 50+ years ago, and these were the only Safeway locations with no club card.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by wnetmacman » July 1st, 2018, 3:33 am

storewanderer wrote:
July 1st, 2018, 12:06 am
Largo could make a nice Publix... since it is so large (former Jewel).
Largo looks more like a 90s Albertsons than a Jewel. Keep in mind that ASC's half hearted Jewel expansion attempts at that time were just ASC Skaggs stores rebranded to see if it could drive sales.
The other two are just dumps. Old Skaggs Albertsons combo stores. I do not like those old stores at all; don't like the ones in NorCal, didn't like the ones in Oklahoma, or the ones I went to in Texas. I am sure they were nice stores at their time but their time is long past.
The old Skaggs stores were almost outdated new.
I find this significant since they debuted a new interior in FL, this was the first organic expansion of the banner "Safeway" into a new market since... probably 50+ years ago, and these were the only Safeway locations with no club card.
Organic growth would have meant new stores. These already existed.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by pseudo3d » July 1st, 2018, 8:24 am

Well, the news is certainly disappointing and an end to an era. But at the same time, we all knew that they weren't able to sustain the three stores with nothing else going on (no distribution deal, no additional stores, etc.) whether the Rite Aid deal happened or not. I also imagine that the fact that the Florida Safeway stores did not participate in the Monopoly promotion may have contributed to it (based on how Florida's gambling laws work). I hope Albertsons got some decent money out of it...they're in better shape with probably even better volume than they were a decade ago. Hopefully, they can learn some lessons about the Florida stores and how it could be used to make their other stores better (like no club card).
architect wrote:
June 28th, 2018, 9:53 pm

Regardless, I am not surprised to see Albertsons finally pull the plug. With so much competition in the grocery industry today, Albertsons needs to be able to focus on beefing up operations in their core markets without the distraction of stores/banners which add little to the bottom line (particularly with the potential of now going public). My prediction is that Houston will be next to go (unless if Albertsons was to fight back into the market with El Rancho), and the remaining southern Louisiana stores could be potentially sold off to another operator at the same time (the remaining Shreveport store along with Longview, TX would likely just close outright considering strong local competition from both Kroger and Brookshires).
I can see Randalls being sold off but I'm sure that Safeway probably already had shopped the division around with no real takers. I can imagine Albertsons selling the Houston stores to H-E-B as they did the Austin stores, but H-E-B would have to be very willing to offer a good price as they did with Austin in 2007 and the remaining south Texas stores in 2011, which were themselves were spared the wreckage of the San Antonio and Houston divisions. DC is a little less of an issue, since Publix's no-unions philosophy could potentially create issues, not to mention how locked-up the market is (the only potential entry is Shoppers, and they don't have great stores). Publix even passed on Farm Fresh when SuperValu was marketing that off.
buckguy wrote:
June 30th, 2018, 7:27 am
This seems to be making a lot out of very little. Were these locations that filled holes for Publix or enabled them to keep out competitors? Most likely Albertson's wanted to make them attractive for sale, rather than simply closing them. Building 5-10 stores a year in a state with a huge population base is not exactly a way to build market share.
It wasn't. That was more in line with Albertsons in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they were trying to brute-force their way into a lot of markets (that or acquiring stores from other chains, not mattering to them if they were upscale, downscale, or somewhere in between). It did not work, partly because they spent a lot of resources for just a fraction of the market share, and they also usually added some hilariously terrible locations that never became retail stores again.
wnetmacman wrote:
July 1st, 2018, 3:33 am
Largo looks more like a 90s Albertsons than a Jewel. Keep in mind that ASC's half hearted Jewel expansion attempts at that time were just ASC Skaggs stores rebranded to see if it could drive sales.
Jewel-Osco Florida was meant to be a largely different approach to the grocery market than Skaggs ever was. By the time they built it, ASC had abandoned Florida years before (and also indirectly pulled out of Florida a second time by selling off Lucky's Kash n' Karry). The stores were much larger than the Skaggs stores, with them approaching 70,000 to 80,000 square feet but still carrying a lot of the non-food merchandise mix (like lawnmowers). They also had features like a juice bar and an "old-fashioned soda fountain" (or something to that effect). The old Skaggs Alpha Beta stores in Texas (different division) didn't see the Jewel-Osco name until 1991, though all of the (non Chicago) Jewel-Osco stores were sold off to Albertsons in 1992, except for Jewel-Osco New Mexico, which was retained and became Lucky in 1998 only to see the Albertsons name a year later.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by storewanderer » July 1st, 2018, 10:02 am

wnetmacman wrote:
July 1st, 2018, 3:33 am
storewanderer wrote:
July 1st, 2018, 12:06 am
Largo could make a nice Publix... since it is so large (former Jewel).
Largo looks more like a 90s Albertsons than a Jewel. Keep in mind that ASC's half hearted Jewel expansion attempts at that time were just ASC Skaggs stores rebranded to see if it could drive sales.
The other two are just dumps. Old Skaggs Albertsons combo stores. I do not like those old stores at all; don't like the ones in NorCal, didn't like the ones in Oklahoma, or the ones I went to in Texas. I am sure they were nice stores at their time but their time is long past.
The old Skaggs stores were almost outdated new.
I find this significant since they debuted a new interior in FL, this was the first organic expansion of the banner "Safeway" into a new market since... probably 50+ years ago, and these were the only Safeway locations with no club card.
Organic growth would have meant new stores. These already existed.
Largo was actually a legitimate Jewel. I was really surprised when I went in there (back when it still had the Albertsons banner and a late 90's interior that was VERY tired). It was large, had the Jewel layout of that era (deli built into the middle of the side of the store with produce/meat/bakery), full of product, and would have presented quite nicely if execution had been better (it was lousy). It will be interesting to see what Publix does with the store.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by pseudo3d » August 9th, 2018, 7:56 pm

I'm sure that the Rite Aid merger and the lack of synergy (and more importantly, the need for cash) was an important reason to get rid of Safeway FL, but really--even not counting that, they weren't really doing much. They didn't participate in the Monopoly promotion for some reason (supposedly due to a law regarding Florida and gambling). They were vastly outnumbered by their competitors, with only one in every major Florida market. And most importantly--they weren't on a third party distribution program. I made some comment on AFB years ago when this whole thing happened, that if they were not on a third-party distribution system (they were getting their stuff from Houston, and later Eastern, both hundreds of miles away) or building/buying new stores they were probably goners either way.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by cjd » November 4th, 2018, 8:06 am

I saw pictures of these stores Grand Opening on some websites. It seems Publix did something a little unusual here, and did not change the interior much at all. They only added their department signage and did some painting, the wood trim is still there. They also added their shelving and checkout stands. But, they kept the coolers, freezer and most of the display equipment as is. Publix almost always changes out existing cases for their own. I've never seen them not do that, but I guess since they were practically brand new, they made an exception. I suspect the Starbucks stayed completely unchanged, It also looks like Publix just put up their signage and left the exterior unchanged.

When Publix took over the Albertsons here, they did what I thought was a minimal remodel. Mostly just paint inside and out, add their signage, and new flooring and cases. But this is even more minimal.

I do wonder if Publix plans to remodel these stores down the road when they get a bitter feel for how they'll do. Although, I don't see much need to remodel them, I do think they would look better with warehouse ceilings. The strip lighting and 2x4 suspended ceilings look dated considering how new stores don't use them.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by submariner » November 5th, 2018, 5:58 pm

cjd wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 8:06 am
It seems Publix did something a little unusual here, and did not change the interior much at all. They only added their department signage and did some painting, the wood trim is still there.
That's not totally unheard of. About 10 years ago when they took over a bunch of Albertsons stores, some received full remodels like this...
remo1.jpg
remo2.jpg
remo3.jpg
Others just got paint and signage, like this obvious blue-and-grey Albertsons package:
nomo1.jpg
nomo2.jpg
nomo3.jpg

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by cjd » November 5th, 2018, 7:36 pm

Oh wow, that layout looks a lot like my Albertsons turned Publix in the pictures with the second decor. I didn't realize that they left that Albertsons trim on the walls in some stores. My Albertsons-Publix got another remodel in 2013 after the initial 2008 move in, so it's possible it too, had that same trim left up originally but got removed later. I just can't remember, but I'm leaning toward that being the case. The store here has those same Publix tan and light brown floors but I know the refrigeration was replaced in this store because it's Publix's typical Hill Phoenix cases, whereas I think Albertsons used Hussmann. It looks like in those pictures they reused the existing ones in that second store.

But regardless the Safeway turned Publix looks pretty nice and it would have been just a waste to redo everything Publix style just for the sake of changing it all.

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by submariner » November 5th, 2018, 8:01 pm

cjd wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 7:36 pm
Oh wow, that layout looks a lot like my Albertsons turned Publix in the pictures with the second decor. I didn't realize that they left that Albertsons trim on the walls in some stores. My Albertsons-Publix got another remodel in 2013 after the initial 2008 move in, so it's possible it too, had that same trim left up originally but got removed later. I just can't remember, but I'm leaning toward that being the case. The store here has those same Publix tan and light brown floors but I know the refrigeration was replaced in this store because it's Publix's typical Hill Phoenix cases, whereas I think Albertsons used Hussmann. It looks like in those pictures they reused the existing ones in that second store.

But regardless the Safeway turned Publix looks pretty nice and it would have been just a waste to redo everything Publix style just for the sake of changing it all.
It's possible the second one eventually got a more full remodel since then... those pictures were taken from the Pensacola area, Summer 2009, with an original iPhone :)

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Re: Publix buys Florida Safeway supermarkets

Post by Knight » November 8th, 2018, 7:54 am

Publix stores 1661, 1662, and 1663 are nice from what I have seen. As the three stores were extensively remodeled from Albertson's to Safeway, I doubt they will need work for at least five years.

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