Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

California. No non-grocery posts.
ClownLoach
Diamond Member
Diamond Member
Posts: 472
Joined: April 4th, 2016, 10:55 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 115 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by ClownLoach »

Alpha8472 wrote: May 15th, 2022, 9:52 pm The store had wide aisles and plenty of space. It was nice to shop in an uncrowded store even though it was so rundown. Parking was plentiful, although cars were parked haphazardly. There was an RV in the lot that looked like people were living in it. It was blocking a lane and could cause an accident. There was no self checkout. There were ancient checkstands with little advertisements on the lights. It was very retro.
It looks like they had ceiling tiles, then removed all of them and kept the t-frame hanging grid? Then cut holes and added some random skylights? I wonder how that saved them money on a remodel?
Alpha8472
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2631
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 8:55 pm
Been thanked: 121 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by Alpha8472 »

They think that making the store look as ugly as possible will bring in the bargain shoppers. The prices were not any lower than a Safeway. The FoodMaxx nearby is at least somewhat lower in price. I get the two stores confused all the time, but when I walk into the store I realize that Pak N Save is much higher priced. I just want to turn around and walk out.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 8850
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 463 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by storewanderer »

A couple photos from 2013. The ceiling is how all of the Pak N Saves with this interior looked, the ceiling was considered part of the decor package. Not sure what they were getting at but they used to have more hanging signs overhead and higher shelving (pallets on top shelves etc.).

I'd suggest FoodsCo for the better hard discount format, plus better private label program of Kroger. During daylight.
Attachments
20130810_200603.jpg
20130810_200941.jpg
20130810_200552.jpg
20130810_200409.jpg
CalItalian
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 1015
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 12:25 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 40 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by CalItalian »

Was in Safeway Fremont addressed on Argonaut Way on Monday. Nicely remodeled store that I've been in before. Not a fan of polished concrete floors which they didn't do a great job on. Since the last time I had been in this store, they reconfigured and added more self-checkout stations. They crammed them in up against each other in a configuration I often see in Target or Walmart but have never seen in an Albertsons owned store. Customers are literally up against each other along with shopping carts competing for breathing room.

I was in the store about 5 pm and the store looked like it had been ransacked. They were restocking multiple departments but that's pretty late in the day. Produce department was a complete mess. They were out of their advertised fresh corn and didn't even have an area for it. They had three security guards on duty which I've only seen before at the very large Ralphs in Westwood (L.A.). They told the person who came in behind me that they had previously been 86'd and to get out. Another customer was being questioned before leaving the store. I don't know much about this area but other than homeless that you see throughout the Bay Area, including here, I thought it was a good area.

What shocked me most was the regular prices. Vons Southern California is considerably lower priced than this Safeway. Brown (Spanish) onions were $1.99 lb. ($1.29 lb. Vons), Bananas .89 lb. (.69 lb. Vons), Limes .69 each (50 each Vons). I could go on and on but every produce item (except garlic which was the same price .50 cents each) was higher, much higher priced than Vons. O Organics branded items, which I buy often because of a weekly $1 off digital coupon, were at minimum 10% higher to as much as 30% higher than Vons (based on regular prices). Self-serve donuts were the only other item that I found to be the same price as Southern California, .99 each. But this Safeway had much larger, better quality and more varieties of donuts than Vons. These are only featured at Pavilions in Southern California (search donuts at Vons, Albertsons or Pavilions SoCal self-checkout and you'll see a different code for Pavilions donuts).
Alpha8472
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2631
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 8:55 pm
Been thanked: 121 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by Alpha8472 »

Safeway self checkout has been extremely packed together when they install the new Toshiba machines. There is no room to move. This is the case even at the recently remodeled high end Safeway with the Pavilions decor in San Ramon on Crow Canyon Road. They have so much empty floor space, but designed the self checkout area so poorly. This is the case at many Northern California Safeway stores.

Shoplifters are a problem even in rich suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fremont is very close to high crime Hayward, California. I was at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in rich San Ramon last night when a very entitled rich looking person just ran out of Walmart without paying at the self checkout. He was still looking at the internet on his cell phone on his way out. Then he loaded his fancy car with a full shopping cart as Walmart employees debated what to do.

People have no fear of stealing.

I went to a nearby Pavilions style Safeway and there were two Police officers in the parking lot chatting.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 8850
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 463 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: May 18th, 2022, 9:03 am Safeway self checkout has been extremely packed together when they install the new Toshiba machines. There is no room to move. This is the case even at the recently remodeled high end Safeway with the Pavilions decor in San Ramon on Crow Canyon Road. They have so much empty floor space, but designed the self checkout area so poorly. This is the case at many Northern California Safeway stores.

Shoplifters are a problem even in rich suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fremont is very close to high crime Hayward, California. I was at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in rich San Ramon last night when a very entitled rich looking person just ran out of Walmart without paying at the self checkout. He was still looking at the internet on his cell phone on his way out. Then he loaded his fancy car with a full shopping cart as Walmart employees debated what to do.

People have no fear of stealing.

Nothing like this going on at the rural/Sacramento locations. You may see one security guard on duty in Sacramento at a few of the locations.. if that. Bay area is deteriorating beyond belief.

The self checkout configuration is done that way so they can effectively have one clerk monitor six self checkouts. Their logic is if the machines are closer together, a clerk who is standing there can easily see everything. I think they have made a pretty big mistake with this set up. The customer trying to do something funny can easily hide between other customers, a shopping cart, etc. The space is so tight someone watching can't effectively see everything as there just isn't enough space.

Wal Mart takes the opposite approach- their self checkouts are spaced a bit more apart. Same for Target's recent self checkout installations. The reason for this is because these chains, rather than relying on the clerk on the floor to monitor everything, are using a lot of monitoring via the security cameras, and you need things to be spaced out better in order to properly monitor via security cameras.
Alpha8472
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2631
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 8:55 pm
Been thanked: 121 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by Alpha8472 »

I have noticed the Pavilions decor Safeway in Alamo has an increased selection of expensive items since the remodel. There is expensive dry aged beef in a glass case, locally sourced expensive gourmet cookies in a glass case, mochi ice cream in a glass case, a walk in beer room, and a walk in wine room.

I did not notice any increase in customer traffic. The average customer is not interested in these overpriced items. I wonder how much of this stuff is going to expire before it is sold.

There is another Pavilions decor Safeway in San Ramon. That store does not have most of these premium products, but it does have an expanded alcohol section. The San Ramon store is still mostly like a regular Safeway with more wine.

I have yet to see any other Pavilions decor stores in Northern California. There are many Safeway stores that are literally falling apart. The floors are in terrible shape and the decor is vintage 2004 Lifestyle Decor. Some have received minimal remodeling such as new ugly mismatched LED lights and refrigerator doors.

Is there any other store getting a remodel in the area?
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 8850
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 463 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: May 21st, 2022, 2:10 pm I have noticed the Pavilions decor Safeway in Alamo has an increased selection of expensive items since the remodel. There is expensive dry aged beef in a glass case, locally sourced expensive gourmet cookies in a glass case, mochi ice cream in a glass case, a walk in beer room, and a walk in wine room.

I did not notice any increase in customer traffic. The average customer is not interested in these overpriced items. I wonder how much of this stuff is going to expire before it is sold.

There is another Pavilions decor Safeway in San Ramon. That store does not have most of these premium products, but it does have an expanded alcohol section. The San Ramon store is still mostly like a regular Safeway with more wine.

I have yet to see any other Pavilions decor stores in Northern California. There are many Safeway stores that are literally falling apart. The floors are in terrible shape and the decor is vintage 2004 Lifestyle Decor. Some have received minimal remodeling such as new ugly mismatched LED lights and refrigerator doors.

Is there any other store getting a remodel in the area?
I'm real curious why the pricing in NorCal is so much higher than SoCal. This is very noticeable. And it did not used to be this way. Both regions used to be equally expensive/out of line in price. But pricing in SoCal for some mysterious reason is looking much better. It isn't as good as you'd see in Las Vegas or Arizona but it is getting closer and closer...

I am wondering if the entry of Aldi and Amazon Fresh into SoCal has spooked these chains on price. There is A LOT of competition in SoCal. Far more than in NorCal where every operator just wants to play the race to the highest price possible game.
HCal
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 242
Joined: February 1st, 2021, 11:18 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 91 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by HCal »

storewanderer wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:24 pm I'm real curious why the pricing in NorCal is so much higher than SoCal. This is very noticeable. And it did not used to be this way. Both regions used to be equally expensive/out of line in price. But pricing in SoCal for some mysterious reason is looking much better. It isn't as good as you'd see in Las Vegas or Arizona but it is getting closer and closer...

I am wondering if the entry of Aldi and Amazon Fresh into SoCal has spooked these chains on price. There is A LOT of competition in SoCal. Far more than in NorCal where every operator just wants to play the race to the highest price possible game.
I would think it's competition and demographics. If you just look at conventional operators, Ralphs and Stater Bros. provide more competition than Raley's and Save Mart/Lucky. If you look at discount stores, Aldi is only present in the south, and Winco has a higher concentration in the south. The north only has a few Foods Co's, and Grocery Outlet. With regard to demographics, NorCal may be wealthier and less price-sensitive, especially around the bay area which is obviously Safeway's home turf and where they have the most stores.
ClownLoach
Diamond Member
Diamond Member
Posts: 472
Joined: April 4th, 2016, 10:55 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 115 times
Status: Offline

Re: Safeway NorCal Remodels and New Stores

Post by ClownLoach »

HCal wrote: May 22nd, 2022, 2:13 am
storewanderer wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:24 pm I'm real curious why the pricing in NorCal is so much higher than SoCal. This is very noticeable. And it did not used to be this way. Both regions used to be equally expensive/out of line in price. But pricing in SoCal for some mysterious reason is looking much better. It isn't as good as you'd see in Las Vegas or Arizona but it is getting closer and closer...

I am wondering if the entry of Aldi and Amazon Fresh into SoCal has spooked these chains on price. There is A LOT of competition in SoCal. Far more than in NorCal where every operator just wants to play the race to the highest price possible game.
I would think it's competition and demographics. If you just look at conventional operators, Ralphs and Stater Bros. provide more competition than Raley's and Save Mart/Lucky. If you look at discount stores, Aldi is only present in the south, and Winco has a higher concentration in the south. The north only has a few Foods Co's, and Grocery Outlet. With regard to demographics, NorCal may be wealthier and less price-sensitive, especially around the bay area which is obviously Safeway's home turf and where they have the most stores.
Lack of competition and I would add in high rent. Bay Area rents are ridiculous.

It's been a long time since I've been to Phoenix and I'm sure I will be shocked by the changes next time I go, but as a lifetime Southern California resident I was ready to throw things when I last saw the prices at Fry's vs Ralphs. Seeing California produce and milk that had to be trucked all the way to Arizona selling for half the price. But this is how the conventional operators have always balanced the books - lower prices where there is heavy competition, raise prices where you already dominate the market. So CA milk that is $4 in CA is $1.99 in AZ and so on...

Also Costco is so dominant in SoCal it just isn't even funny. Stores doing multi million dollar weekend days sometimes just a mile down the street from another store doing the same. The aggressive growth of Costco in SoCal is just as big of a factor in the decline of the traditional stores as Walmart.
Post Reply