DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. No non-grocery posts.
Forum rules
architect
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 550
Joined: December 8th, 2015, 3:41 pm
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby architect » August 20th, 2017, 3:33 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
rwsandiego wrote:Regarding whether a Safeway is the right fit, one of the complaints is the community feels it is being treated differently than others in the District. If then Safeway were to be replaced by another banner or were it to be a different format than in other neighborhoods, Safeway would be accused of unfair treatment.

It would be wise for Safeway to meet with the community and discuss potential solutions rather than try to solve this in a vacuum.


Perhaps, and this is why Safeway needs to diversify its stores more. I don't know what the demographics of this store are but it's uneconomical to demand certain features of a store that isn't sustainable, like organic produce or fresh food that has to be thrown away because no one is buying. I think that Safeway (at least pre-Albertsons) was too proud to actually cut off services and features (which Kroger and H-E-B have done, ultimately leading to a better and healthier store base) leading to a lot cut corners in its stores it did operate.

Moldy produce and other problems aren't acceptable but not every store can be a class "A" store. It's a balancing act.


This is also the reason why under Safeway's leadership, many Texas stores closed which were in transitional areas, rather than adapting to new demographics. This was the case with almost all of the 2005 closures, and 80% of the closures since then ( a few stores were just simply in poor locations, period). On the other hand, Kroger has found ways to make low-income/transitional stores profitable as long as the store in question is still in decent physical condition. Likewise, this adaption to individual neighborhoods is HEB's bread and butter. Both Kroger and HEB have clearly creamed Randalls/Tom Thumb in both market share and store count for the last 10 years.

Somehow, this problem seems most pronounced in the Texas Safeway markets (likely due to the 2005 bloodbath of closures). However, this seems to be a common thread in other areas too, particularly DC and Arizona.

pseudo3d
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 2013
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby pseudo3d » August 25th, 2017, 11:07 am

architect wrote:
pseudo3d wrote:
rwsandiego wrote:Both Kroger and HEB have clearly creamed Randalls/Tom Thumb in both market share and store count for the last 10 years.

That's what happens when you close more stores than you open! I still don't think that Houston has any actually-new Randalls (not rebuilds) since 2002 (which, coincidentally was the last year a new Kmart store opened).

On the Eastern Division, seems they are trying to clean the stores.

https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/08/2 ... er-stores/

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2821
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby storewanderer » August 26th, 2017, 8:27 am

They probably decided to throw some labor at the problem after this article was published a few days ago:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc ... 5dd2671cc5

I suspect Boise is embarrassed. As far as the attitude of the Safeway side on this, well, if they cared, this problem wouldn't have been happening in the first place...

pseudo3d
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 2013
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby pseudo3d » August 26th, 2017, 11:28 am

storewanderer wrote:I suspect Boise is embarrassed. As far as the attitude of the Safeway side on this, well, if they cared, this problem wouldn't have been happening in the first place...


Even during the best of times for Albertsons, the stores weren't all that clean. That was one of the memories of the old Albertsons back home (which after nearly a decade of vacancy, is now a trampoline park), is that the store just smelled kinda funky, especially the fish market. As a whole, it just seemed dirtier and dingier than other grocery stores in town, even though the other stores in town were just as old if not older.

I'm pretty sure Safeway pre-Albertsons (at least late 1990s on, when Safeway started buying up regional chains) had some problems with cleanliness too.

buckguy
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 67
Joined: January 31st, 2017, 10:54 am
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby buckguy » August 26th, 2017, 12:31 pm

Safeway used to have a lock on DC with very little chain competition. Over the past decade, this has changed with Safeway store closings and Giant re-committing itself to DC including low income areas, the expansion of Harris-Teeter and the opening of several Whole Foods and recent expansion by Trader Joe's. Significantly, Safeway is not the only one with problems---a Harris Teeter was closed by the health department not long ago and even more recently they closed a Whole Foods.

Safeway does a poor job in neighborhoods with good economics--the Pine Branch store near the old Walter reed campus was closed by the health department. The Alabama-Naylor store should be doing a better job (this is a somewhat higher income area than where the Wal-Mart was to open. H-T seems to thrive despite operating pretty lackluster stores with high prices and Giant is a somewhat uneven, so Safeway does have room to upgrade its sales. Safeway used to maintain its DC store base by charging more than in suburban areas, but they seem to have ended this around the time they closed a number or mostly inner city locations.

pseudo3d
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 2013
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby pseudo3d » August 26th, 2017, 1:47 pm

buckguy wrote:Safeway used to have a lock on DC with very little chain competition. Over the past decade, this has changed with Safeway store closings and Giant re-committing itself to DC including low income areas, the expansion of Harris-Teeter and the opening of several Whole Foods and recent expansion by Trader Joe's. Significantly, Safeway is not the only one with problems---a Harris Teeter was closed by the health department not long ago and even more recently they closed a Whole Foods.

Safeway does a poor job in neighborhoods with good economics--the Pine Branch store near the old Walter reed campus was closed by the health department. The Alabama-Naylor store should be doing a better job (this is a somewhat higher income area than where the Wal-Mart was to open. H-T seems to thrive despite operating pretty lackluster stores with high prices and Giant is a somewhat uneven, so Safeway does have room to upgrade its sales. Safeway used to maintain its DC store base by charging more than in suburban areas, but they seem to have ended this around the time they closed a number or mostly inner city locations.

With SuperValu wanting to get out of the business and Safeway losing some of its lower-income stores, why not try to buy (some of) the Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores?

Even if they don't, the Eastern Division is one of the smallest divisions in the chains by store. By the time Safeway sold, their numbers were such:

Denver 128
Eastern 125
NorCal 266
Northwest 315
Phoenix 114
Randalls 107

(The "Northwest" division is combined Seattle/Portland/Carrs stores...but I thought the Seattle and Portland divisions were technically separate). It was the third-smallest division following the Texas Division (which despite attempting to create a Houston division has been absorbed into South) and the Phoenix Division (which merged into the Southwest Division). Following the fourth (Denver, which lost a handful of stores shortly after the merger but was able to re-absorb a number of Albertsons stores, so the number is roughly the same), the Eastern Division has shrunk slightly since they closed a few stores (including the last Genuardi's, which had been part of the Eastern Division) but only opened one, I believe. I guess that the Florida stores count toward Eastern, but it seems a bit shrimpy for being in only two large markets and only 125 (in contrast, ACME currently has 177 stores between Philly, the Philly suburbs, and around but not in NYC).

buckguy
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 67
Joined: January 31st, 2017, 10:54 am
Status: Offline

Re: DC City Council Member "surprise inspection" of Safeway

Postby buckguy » August 26th, 2017, 6:02 pm

Shoppers is pretty irrelevant. They have no stores in DC proper and they don't have particularly unique placements in the suburbs. Although the stores were upgraded in size under SuperValu, they still have an odd collection of stores and locations. Plus, they really have no positive identity., esp. given the higher price points under SuperValu They've always been week in the perishables and service areas and the stores seemed neglected even under the Hafts.


Return to “Mid-Atlantic USA”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest