Crucial times for Shoppers

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BatteryMill
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Postby BatteryMill » June 4th, 2017, 3:32 pm

Well, it's been some time since my last post in the thread, which has surprisingly lasted a year with six pages accumulated! Useless statistics aside, I would like to comment on how Shoppers had always been thought of being sold off and replaced by other retailers such as its' D.C. cohorts or expanding retailers such as Publix and whatnot.

On this issue, would there be any interest for someone in charge, or an investor with a good opportunity at Shoppers to take command, bring it to a better state (such as its' classic formula) and become a major force in the market again? It seems as if the chain is somewhat treated as a dummy-like brand which is only to be passed around the rest of them. Sure, they may have lost identity and a unique appeal under SuperValu, but if there were to be a prominent spin-off or acquisition (not to a nearby chain/juggernaut), would the longtime chain taking on the big ones as a low-price grocer be logical? I'd have to wonder on this.

The Farm Fresh/Shoppers operations merger, while not showing an effect beside the management, is questionable on what would happen to either one or both. I hope this at least boosts both for now and at best.

buckguy
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Postby buckguy » June 8th, 2017, 7:22 am

Shoppers doesn't have a lot of first rate locations and it seems likely that Lidl and the continuing expansion of Aldi undercuts re-entry into their original niche. The price leader chains are squeezed everywhere by the limited assortment chains and the stores like Walmart and Costco (the latter probably being a bigger factor in DC than Walmart)--their original niche makes no sense and they seem clueless in terms of being able to compete even with the dgraded states of Giant and Safeway. The best case scenario for them would be ShopRite taking over the better locations, but they would need to have operators willing to make a big investment in the DC area, which is a different proposition from Baltimore where they have been slowly expanding, and corporate would have to be willing to buy stores upfront from Super Valu.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Postby pseudo3d » June 8th, 2017, 12:12 pm

buckguy wrote:Shoppers doesn't have a lot of first rate locations and it seems likely that Lidl and the continuing expansion of Aldi undercuts re-entry into their original niche. The price leader chains are squeezed everywhere by the limited assortment chains and the stores like Walmart and Costco (the latter probably being a bigger factor in DC than Walmart)--their original niche makes no sense and they seem clueless in terms of being able to compete even with the dgraded states of Giant and Safeway. The best case scenario for them would be ShopRite taking over the better locations, but they would need to have operators willing to make a big investment in the DC area, which is a different proposition from Baltimore where they have been slowly expanding, and corporate would have to be willing to buy stores upfront from Super Valu.

True warehouse stores like Shoppers was haven't done well for decades, and the chains that did were either re-absorbed into their parent companies, outright closed, or hardly distinguishable from "real" chains. SuperValu cannot undercut their competitors without destroying profitability, as traditional warehouse stores also require high volume to make them work. The only way that they can really make things work is by competing at a level with Giant and Safeway but being a better grocery store than them and fixing the shortcomings that those chains have. But this is also complicated by the fact that they don't have the locations like Safeway and Giant do.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Postby mjhale » June 8th, 2017, 3:38 pm

I have long wished that ShopRite would enter the DC market with actual ShopRite stores as opposed to PriceRite stores which are already open in a few areas around DC. What I have to wonder is how well ShopRite would do in the DC area. Washingtonians are used to large chain grocery stores that have similar operations between all of the locations. Perhaps a single operator with a single style would do well because people would know what to expect.

In terms of competitiveness, I have always perceived ShopRite as a mid-line, high volume grocer. Someone correct me if this isn't the case. In my view, the best contemporary I could find to ShopRite would be Giant-MD when they were still locally owned. Given the competitors in the DC area, Aldi and Wal-Mart have the low-end, price conscious folks and Wegmans, Whole Foods and to some extent Harris Teeter have the high end customers. The great middle is where I see ShopRite settling in. Giant is nothing like it used to be and Safeway has kind of been lingering along for a long time. ShopRite could clean up the middle ground if they could get good locations with strong operators. I fear that an operator coming down from Baltimore or further north in ShopRite's core territory would not understand the DC market and run into the same issues when Giant-MD attempted to expand into PA and NJ. No one knows what Publix wants to do in the DC area beyond the rumors that are out there. Safeway recently closed a store in the Ashburn area which would have been good for a Publix entry into the DC area. Instead the Safeway is being subdivided into and Aldi and other small shops.

Bringing this back to Shoppers, they are completely and totally left out in any scenario I can see. As others have said, they have marginal locations or locations that are not conducive to another grocer who might be looking to get into the DC area. Also they lost their price competitiveness long ago and now are know as a marginal grocer. Even the donuts don't bring in people like they used to. The interesting thing is that as I think about the Shoppers stores near me in Northern Virginia they actually might be good fits for ShopRite. Plus ShopRite has union locations so it wouldn't be a big problem to change ownership as Shoppers is a union shop.


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