Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

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pseudo3d
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Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by pseudo3d » January 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm

And the closures are trickling in...
http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesd ... -To-Close/

Reading the comments indicate that it wasn't a very good store (including the garage having a homeless problem, etc.), though long lines and a lack of self check-out were mentioned. I'm also going to posit that this store probably had a significant shrinkage problem, hence Safeway citing "underperformance". Given the appearance that Eastern and ACME are now under a common division president, I'm wondering if we'll start seeing some overlapping stores close as Eastern goes through their yearly purge.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by architect » January 15th, 2018, 4:03 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm
And the closures are trickling in...
http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesd ... -To-Close/

Reading the comments indicate that it wasn't a very good store (including the garage having a homeless problem, etc.), though long lines and a lack of self check-out were mentioned. I'm also going to posit that this store probably had a significant shrinkage problem, hence Safeway citing "underperformance". Given the appearance that Eastern and ACME are now under a common division president, I'm wondering if we'll start seeing some overlapping stores close as Eastern goes through their yearly purge.
Interestingly, based on Google photos, it appears that Albertsons installed new lighting in the perimeter areas of this store not long ago, similar to the other former Safeway-owned stores. At this rate, I would not assume that any store is safe, even if Albertsons seems to be pumping money into it. The grocery market is enough turmoil right now that stores which might have made sense to take a chance on a couple of years ago don't make much sense now.

Also, this store is less than a mile from another Safeway which was built in the mid-2000's on Bradley Boulevard. It appears that this newer store is much nicer and easier to navigate parking-wise, so it could have played a role in the decline of the Old Georgetown store traffic-wise.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by storewanderer » January 15th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Looks like this store has suffered from operational problems for years. Empty shelves, long long checkout lines.

I suppose a solution to stores like this is to flat out close them...

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by pseudo3d » January 15th, 2018, 8:18 pm

architect wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 4:03 pm
Interestingly, based on Google photos, it appears that Albertsons installed new lighting in the perimeter areas of this store not long ago, similar to the other former Safeway-owned stores. At this rate, I would not assume that any store is safe, even if Albertsons seems to be pumping money into it. The grocery market is enough turmoil right now that stores which might have made sense to take a chance on a couple of years ago don't make much sense now.
We all knew in 2015/2016 that the lighting upgrades were cheaply done and weren't replacements for real store remodels. And yes, Albertsons does put money into stores even they do end up closing. That's on par for running a business. Other pictures of this Safeway though show some really badly stocked areas (empty produce and soy sauce sections) as of November, indicating that Albertsons probably already gave up on it months ago. Another thing to note is the signage that runs across the produce displays definitely isn't modern Albertsons and looks like it pre-dates Lifestyle.
Also, this store is less than a mile from another Safeway which was built in the mid-2000's on Bradley Boulevard. It appears that this newer store is much nicer and easier to navigate parking-wise, so it could have played a role in the decline of the Old Georgetown store traffic-wise.
Right, and remember, it's a newer and larger store (the Safeway in Bethesda is only 41,000 square feet, not even particularly big even for suburban Safeway standards).

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by storewanderer » January 15th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Those signs on the vegetable case are newly added signs at Eastern Division.

They replaced the previous lifestyle era signage which often said "Safeway Farms" or similar.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by buckguy » January 20th, 2018, 8:08 pm

It's a small, awkwardly located store (easy to miss, so it doesn't get people who happen to be in this busy area). When it opened, it's only competition would have been a small Giant a few blocks away and the other Safeway in the area would have been a relic from the 60s. Now the Giant has been greatly enlarged and the Bradley Safeway location on the edge of downtown Bethesda has been replaced and they also have Trader Joe's nearby, with a Harris-Teeter on the way. I wouldn't read too much into it if you haven't been there. Safeway opened a number of stores like this in large apartment/condo/mixed use buildings over time and most of them have closed over the last 10 years--there's a similar, somewhat older one in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, which they've kept. Unlike this one, it doesn't have much competition. These stores are usually difficult to enlarge and awkward to reconfigure.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by rwsandiego » February 21st, 2018, 8:36 pm

buckguy wrote:
January 20th, 2018, 8:08 pm
It's a small, awkwardly located store (easy to miss, so it doesn't get people who happen to be in this busy area). When it opened, it's only competition would have been a small Giant a few blocks away and the other Safeway in the area would have been a relic from the 60s. Now the Giant has been greatly enlarged and the Bradley Safeway location on the edge of downtown Bethesda has been replaced and they also have Trader Joe's nearby, with a Harris-Teeter on the way. I wouldn't read too much into it if you haven't been there. Safeway opened a number of stores like this in large apartment/condo/mixed use buildings over time and most of them have closed over the last 10 years--there's a similar, somewhat older one in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, which they've kept. Unlike this one, it doesn't have much competition. These stores are usually difficult to enlarge and awkward to reconfigure.
There is also one on the edges of the Financial District in SF, also located on the first level of an apartment complex. Also awkwardly laid out. Also, no competition.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by storewanderer » February 21st, 2018, 9:18 pm

I can't think of much other grocery near the one in the Financial District... also it is a very tiny store. The layout would probably flow a little more normally if the store didn't have a deli and instead had produce over in that space, then the remainder of the space was just standard aisles.

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by rwsandiego » February 22nd, 2018, 8:15 pm

storewanderer wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 9:18 pm
I can't think of much other grocery near the one in the Financial District... also it is a very tiny store. The layout would probably flow a little more normally if the store didn't have a deli and instead had produce over in that space, then the remainder of the space was just standard aisles.
There is no other grocery store in the area. If they did not have the deli, they would probably have no customers, as it is the only place to pick up deli meats/cheeses/prepared foods on the weekends. It is an example of making due with what they've got. As I said in a different post, if you want a suburban-style store, go to the suburbs. (Which is what I do when my city-sized Safeway doesn't have something or I want to shop in a spacious temple of groceries)

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Re: Downtown Bethesda Safeway to close

Post by buckguy » February 23rd, 2018, 8:19 am

Safeway has opened new stores in city locations that are suburban sized and better sited and sized for future expansion than these old 60s/70s stores in apartment/condo buildings that they operated before. The CityView project in DC is the best example. there's also a transit oriented development site in Rockville, MD that's a suburban example.
rwsandiego wrote:
February 22nd, 2018, 8:15 pm
storewanderer wrote:
February 21st, 2018, 9:18 pm
I can't think of much other grocery near the one in the Financial District... also it is a very tiny store. The layout would probably flow a little more normally if the store didn't have a deli and instead had produce over in that space, then the remainder of the space was just standard aisles.
There is no other grocery store in the area. If they did not have the deli, they would probably have no customers, as it is the only place to pick up deli meats/cheeses/prepared foods on the weekends. It is an example of making due with what they've got. As I said in a different post, if you want a suburban-style store, go to the suburbs. (Which is what I do when my city-sized Safeway doesn't have something or I want to shop in a spacious temple of groceries)

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