Crucial times for Shoppers

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. No non-grocery posts.
pseudo3d
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d » June 17th, 2018, 7:30 pm

BatteryMill wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 6:10 pm
mjhale wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 6:34 pm
Either Shoppers is getting out of the Virginia suburbs because they are highly competitive markets or this is the slow bleeding out of Shoppers until it fully closes in the DC area. Shoppers has no identity and the donuts are no longer enough to get people into the store. Supervalu has too much debt and they are trying to focus on their wholesale business which means they don't have to resources or interest to do anything with their retail operations. Selling the stores would likely mean that the union contracts would stay in place which limits interest in the stores if they even were to go to another grocer. Closing the stores blank slates the spaces for whoever wants to get at them. So far the stores that have closed don't have the demographics for Publix who has long been rumored to be looking for store locations in Northern Virginia. And in the competitive Northern Virginia grocery market I don't see the stores that Shoppers is closing going to traditional grocers if they stay as groceries at all.

By the way, do you have any interior photos of the Landmark Plaza store in Alexandria? Someone commented on the Flickr image of the exterior of the store that interior is a fairly rare design from the mid 2000s. I thought that Landmark Plaza had the same interior as the Herndon store but I could be wrong.
This is one situation that is rapid, yet unpredictable and intense to the Shoppers chain. The sales of other SuperValu chains over the years, as well as the changes undergone at Shoppers and the increased power of competitors all culminates to what's going on right now with this chain.

Since there are some well-performing stores that have been recently remodeled, I assume Shoppers still will be planted in the Northern Virginia/D.C. area for some time more. However with the frenzy of quiet closures going on this year, you would best have to watch out and expect any random store to close. While I certainly hope that Shoppers gets sold, knowing it could be a good exit for the chain, I expect them to work out a way they can feed in with union contracts.
For the closed stores, I have certainly seen them fill up with new tenants as of late, of many kinds. There are good chances that some will become grocers or part of the various retail uses popular today.

For the record, I unfortunately do not have any photos of the store. I believe this store has already closed for business and I am not sure what may happen next. Otherwise Google (see above), along with other store review sources have several good angles of the store inside so you can view it if you'd like. As for decor, the Landmark store is mostly like the others with the mid-2000s interior, however with a slightly rare variant that was implemented circa 2007-08. Particularily it has less of the slatted walls, and when it does they're painted black rather than the original tan color. However, it does have some remnants from the store's original opening in the early 00s such as the aisle markers and orange grid flooring.

Especially what's odd is that Jumbo originated the Shoppers namesake in the Northern Virginia area, and even had their very first store (as SFW) across the street from the Landmark location.
rwsandiego wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 10:56 pm
Look the same to me.

Oh, and the 1980's called and want their store back.
Blame it on the overall upkeep of the store and Shoppers' history. :geek:
As I've said above, Shoppers still had stores with this look through the 2000s. While remodels like these feel worn out at present, this package actually looked quite pleasant in the newbuilds they did at the time, even as Shoppers still had some energy left in them. Otherwise, what do you expect knowing the roots of the Herndon store dating back 25 years.
ImageShoppers - Dumfries, VA: Dairy Section by BatteryMill Retail, on Flickr

ImageShoppers Laurel MD by Will, on Flickr
SamSpade wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 7:11 am
SuperValu must have really provided a lot to WinCo back in the Cub Foods licensing arrangement time - that same white tile with orange strips was in several WinCo stores here although I think all have been remodeled to painted white concrete now.
I am not too sure about any connection between SuperValu and WinCo out west. The orange look was original to Shoppers a while before they went to SuperValu in 1999, so I assume it was part of some basic warehouse-style design philosophy.
buckguy wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
I can't imagine Publix buying Shoppers' locations. I'm a bit surpised Shoppers weren't part of SVU's divesture of its other mid-Atlantic operations.
Some in busier/upmarket areas I would assume are good for purchase, but with how fast Publix is expanding I assume other retailers and nearby grocers would be quick to buy those out. I heard Giant may be already seeking some of the recently closed Shoppers stores to relocate to.
For one Shoppers was not a part of Albertsons before and after SVU, and at the time they were at least more accustomed to Shoppers being under their wing than the latter. In recent SuperValu divestures, however I guess the other retailers have gone first on their terms.
buckguy wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 10:58 am
As for the donuts--they have no flavor--all yeast rise and no taste.
I'd have to partially disagree with you as a local who has long experienced these from Shoppers stores. They have depended from store to store, and fresh donuts can certainly have a good taste. The only time I can really tell a lack of taste is if I keep one in the refrigerator for some time. What are your thoughts on this?

Also to add, SuperValu has directed a major consolidation to the chain, eliminating the posts of 40 head staff members. Several key employees have been eliminated and SuperValu is relocating operations to those of Cub Foods and Hornbacher’s in the Midwest. I could see this as to why a closing frenzy has begun at Shoppers as of late.
https://progressivegrocer.com/shoppers- ... nding-sale

With this and all the quiet closings Shoppers’s now going through, I am surprised this is all not breaking news throughout retail and local news outlets.
I know it's always painful when a chain closes, but I think the end is coming within weeks. Maybe Safeway will pick up a few stores (and finally that list could be a little less negative)

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » June 17th, 2018, 8:44 pm

They have not sold the other stores that are for sale yet have they (Shop N Save/Shop N Save East)?

I am not expecting Shoppers to disappear until the Shop N Saves are divested off... unless of course Shop N Save has no interest even after being marketed publicly and Shoppers does have interest despite not being marketed publicly, in which case... I assume they will entertain offers for anything.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d » June 20th, 2018, 11:17 am

storewanderer wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 8:44 pm
They have not sold the other stores that are for sale yet have they (Shop N Save/Shop N Save East)?

I am not expecting Shoppers to disappear until the Shop N Saves are divested off... unless of course Shop N Save has no interest even after being marketed publicly and Shoppers does have interest despite not being marketed publicly, in which case... I assume they will entertain offers for anything.
I'm sure that everyone in the industry is smelling blood from SuperValu, and I'd be very surprised if Weis, Safeway, Giant, or Harris Teeter isn't sniffing at some of the better sites.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by mjhale » July 12th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Giant is taking three former Shoppers locations: Landmark, VA, Herndon, VA and Olney, MD.

https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/ ... ndria.html


I think the last paragraph of the article above is pretty telling especially the last sentence:

Giant’s movement is made possible by the fact that Shoppers’ parent company, Supervalu, has been working to move away from the retail grocery business as it focuses more on wholesale. Some in the industry have predicted that most of the Shoppers stores and other Supervalu-owned grocery stores could close within the next year.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill » September 24th, 2018, 6:41 pm

For now Shoppers closings have not been in remission to my knowledge, however more locations could be rumored at getting the axe whether to a new grocery suitor or to other purposes. The Centreville, VA store is becoming a CGX (Coast Guard Exchange) store while another in Sterling, VA is likely becoming an unnamed international supermarket (where they have effectively left Loudoun County, where they had operated since the 1980s) in addition to the three Giant conversions on track for early 2019.

https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com ... p-shoppers is a relevant read to the situation of SFW, including information about the UNFI acquisition of SuperValu and testing each suitor on the market.
Giant I don't find to be a good suitor, given they have the most overlapping locations and they are already chipping into a few Shoppers stores - though I will not mind them adding a few more to the sum. While I can say just about the same thing for Safeway, Kroger would be a good suitor for the majority - given that it can be the discount counterpart to their Harris Teeter and work well with their existing stores. The only thing that would have to be watched however is the overload of the suitors' conglomerates, unless the Shoppers name is to be stripped for something else.
Perhaps I would just like Publix or ShopRite to fill the void, if anyone can adapt to Shoppers' store sizes and locales easily. Until then, it's a nice retail surprise for all of us.
Plus as a bonus, who can keep the Colossal donuts on hand? ;)

This article also provides insight on the Shoppers market share across both Washington and Baltimore - with both areas tying one another at around 6% (Washington leading at 6.20%) and coincidentally trailed by the expanding Wegmans. This is subject to change if Shoppers would be broken up or any of the lower stores is bound to overtake them before long.
storewanderer wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 8:44 pm
They have not sold the other stores that are for sale yet have they (Shop N Save/Shop N Save East)?

I am not expecting Shoppers to disappear until the Shop N Saves are divested off... unless of course Shop N Save has no interest even after being marketed publicly and Shoppers does have interest despite not being marketed publicly, in which case... I assume they will entertain offers for anything.
Shop 'n Save has been closing rapidly around Winchester and has been up for sale elsewhere with a few outlying stores still waiting on a suitor. This is understandable anyway as SNS has been down to a few locations now and Shoppers is faring slightly better than them.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » September 25th, 2018, 10:39 pm

I will point out that the average Shoppers is slightly more productive on a "market share per store" basis than Safeway in either Washington or Baltimore.

I am also surprised how productive Harris Teeter is on a "market share per store" basis as their stores in Washington are nothing special, not even close to the ones in the Carolinas in quality or perimeter offering.

Also considering Shoppers is a conventional in Baltimore, but more of a hybrid between a conventional and a price impact format in Washington... makes this more interesting.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Safeway would add the Shoppers Stores. I do not think their pricing or merchandising strategy would work at all and the stores would lose business. I almost wonder if the Acme banner may be a better play/format... Acme seems a little stronger on price and a little more "working class" focused.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill » September 26th, 2018, 5:20 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 10:39 pm
I will point out that the average Shoppers is slightly more productive on a "market share per store" basis than Safeway in either Washington or Baltimore.

I am also surprised how productive Harris Teeter is on a "market share per store" basis as their stores in Washington are nothing special, not even close to the ones in the Carolinas in quality or perimeter offering.

Also considering Shoppers is a conventional in Baltimore, but more of a hybrid between a conventional and a price impact format in Washington... makes this more interesting.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Safeway would add the Shoppers Stores. I do not think their pricing or merchandising strategy would work at all and the stores would lose business. I almost wonder if the Acme banner may be a better play/format... Acme seems a little stronger on price and a little more "working class" focused.
This is quite an interesting turn... anyway I hope such is not lost once Shoppers has its turn in the SuperValu line. While Shoppers has been in both markets longer than HT Safeway is not, and even then SFW is likely more conforming to the Baltimore market.

Where Harris Teeter has been expanding, in affluent suburbs and new urban developments they have risen as an alternative to the traditional Giant and Safeway in their "average grocer" sector - primarily with their focus on prepared foods more akin to Wegmans and more capital put into expansion. I believe they do not specialize as much as in their stores as down in the South however I assume they are still decent to shop at.

In the Baltimore area Shoppers was preceded by Metro Food Market, an offshoot of Basics/Food-a-rama which also ended up with Richfood and later SuperValu. Metro resembled what Harris Teeter is today and was often described as a "theater of food" with unusual dead-end layouts and prepared foods departments. In 2003 SVU made the decision to convert all Metro stores to Shoppers, which required some upscaling for the latter chain (which already ditched some of their warehouse principles in previous years). While it was a downgrade from some of Metro's features, it signaled the direction Shoppers was going in under SuperValu to match up with market standards Giant and Safeway.
Shoppers in the Washington, D.C. area where it originated is designated as a price-impact store considering the warehouse concept mostly existed within this region. Nevertheless, both cities have their newer, larger stores and smaller barebones SFW stores serving different neighborhoods.

Like I said, I wouldn't want Safeway to acquire every store, but some conversions to Safeway/Acme will do just fine. I would like to see Acme return to NoVA at that, where they haven't been in 30+ years.
My favorites would be ShopRite, Publix or Kroger to acquire the whole chain - the latter a friend of mine first suggested in 2015 as a lower-price counterpart, where the Shoppers name could possibly live on. I would understand it if the Shoppers name went under, however I only can hope jobs and customers will carry on after the end.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » September 26th, 2018, 10:01 pm

BatteryMill wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 5:20 pm
storewanderer wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 10:39 pm
I will point out that the average Shoppers is slightly more productive on a "market share per store" basis than Safeway in either Washington or Baltimore.

I am also surprised how productive Harris Teeter is on a "market share per store" basis as their stores in Washington are nothing special, not even close to the ones in the Carolinas in quality or perimeter offering.

Also considering Shoppers is a conventional in Baltimore, but more of a hybrid between a conventional and a price impact format in Washington... makes this more interesting.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Safeway would add the Shoppers Stores. I do not think their pricing or merchandising strategy would work at all and the stores would lose business. I almost wonder if the Acme banner may be a better play/format... Acme seems a little stronger on price and a little more "working class" focused.
This is quite an interesting turn... anyway I hope such is not lost once Shoppers has its turn in the SuperValu line. While Shoppers has been in both markets longer than HT Safeway is not, and even then SFW is likely more conforming to the Baltimore market.

Where Harris Teeter has been expanding, in affluent suburbs and new urban developments they have risen as an alternative to the traditional Giant and Safeway in their "average grocer" sector - primarily with their focus on prepared foods more akin to Wegmans and more capital put into expansion. I believe they do not specialize as much as in their stores as down in the South however I assume they are still decent to shop at.

In the Baltimore area Shoppers was preceded by Metro Food Market, an offshoot of Basics/Food-a-rama which also ended up with Richfood and later SuperValu. Metro resembled what Harris Teeter is today and was often described as a "theater of food" with unusual dead-end layouts and prepared foods departments. In 2003 SVU made the decision to convert all Metro stores to Shoppers, which required some upscaling for the latter chain (which already ditched some of their warehouse principles in previous years). While it was a downgrade from some of Metro's features, it signaled the direction Shoppers was going in under SuperValu to match up with market standards Giant and Safeway.
Shoppers in the Washington, D.C. area where it originated is designated as a price-impact store considering the warehouse concept mostly existed within this region. Nevertheless, both cities have their newer, larger stores and smaller barebones SFW stores serving different neighborhoods.

Like I said, I wouldn't want Safeway to acquire every store, but some conversions to Safeway/Acme will do just fine. I would like to see Acme return to NoVA at that, where they haven't been in 30+ years.
My favorites would be ShopRite, Publix or Kroger to acquire the whole chain - the latter a friend of mine first suggested in 2015 as a lower-price counterpart, where the Shoppers name could possibly live on. I would understand it if the Shoppers name went under, however I only can hope jobs and customers will carry on after the end.
Shop Rite is probably the right buyer... I think they would continue the stores similar to Shoppers in mix/format/product quality (very average and mid market), and to some degree sharpen them up on pricing.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill » September 27th, 2018, 3:05 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 10:01 pm
Shop Rite is probably the right buyer... I think they would continue the stores similar to Shoppers in mix/format/product quality (very average and mid market), and to some degree sharpen them up on pricing.
I could certainly understand. The question is though, how will it fit into their franchise format and how can they take in up to around 40 stores? This will be quite possibly one of their biggest purchases yet and who knows if that may warrant the continuation of Shoppers as part of their store family? If so I wonder if they can better compete with Walmart/Lidl/Aldi wherever they are.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d » September 27th, 2018, 3:55 pm

I don't think that Shoppers will be sold whole. My guess is that the better half will split between Safeway, Weis, Giant, and a few independents, with the other half closing altogether. (I can't imagine Publix going for them, not if they turned down Farm Fresh).

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