Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
storewanderer
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Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by storewanderer » November 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am
The Westheimer/Shepherd store wasn't doing that well. It had some of the lowest produce sales in the region (not the lowest profit or the highest shrink--and as for how I know this, let's just say some paperwork got left out). The traffic snarls in the area prevent left turns at the nearby stoplight, and that also makes it difficult to get out.
Produce is an important department and I have noticed Albertsons/Safeway pricing on produce is "way off" compared to competitors in every market I visit. Sometimes, their center store pricing can be a little closer to Kroger (in places like Colorado, Arizona, or Oregon) on certain items (mostly things like canned soup, cake mix, canned vegetables, other heavily processed foods) but their produce pricing is always WAY off. Add Sprouts to the mix and it just makes them look even worse. So I am not sure what competitors are around this store but it may be produce is weaker than the store as a whole due to the pricing issues.

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Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by Bagels » November 10th, 2018, 1:39 am

storewanderer wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm
pseudo3d wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am
The Westheimer/Shepherd store wasn't doing that well. It had some of the lowest produce sales in the region (not the lowest profit or the highest shrink--and as for how I know this, let's just say some paperwork got left out). The traffic snarls in the area prevent left turns at the nearby stoplight, and that also makes it difficult to get out.
Produce is an important department and I have noticed Albertsons/Safeway pricing on produce is "way off" compared to competitors in every market I visit. Sometimes, their center store pricing can be a little closer to Kroger (in places like Colorado, Arizona, or Oregon) on certain items (mostly things like canned soup, cake mix, canned vegetables, other heavily processed foods) but their produce pricing is always WAY off. Add Sprouts to the mix and it just makes them look even worse. So I am not sure what competitors are around this store but it may be produce is weaker than the store as a whole due to the pricing issues.
Influential industry analysts have cited Albertsons’ high every day pricing, and reliance on heavy discounting to get people into the doors, as an obstacle toward its long term survival.

Albertson’s high prices are incredibly noticeable — in Southern California, the wholesale price for a dozen large eggs is ~$1.50 — nearly a 50% decrease since spring, when they reached a record high. Historically, eggs are a staple loss leader. Aldi, Smart & Final, CVS and Walgreens have been selling a dozen eggs for $1 to $1.50, while Stater Bros has an 18 ct. for $2. Ralph’s is at $3 and Albertsons/Vons... $4.

And last month was the height of the apple harvest season, and every retailer was promoting them. Aldi’s has a 3 lb. bag (from Michigan) of select varieties for $1. Sprouts went from .49 to .79 (from the Northwest), depending on the week. Ralph’s was at .77 (from Southern California) and Stater Bros at .99 (from Washington). Albertsons? $1.99, from Idaho. The reason I mention location, is because apples sourced from SoCal are considered the best (but incredibly rare to find on supermarket shelves these days due to limited production) with Northwest apples not far behind them. Apples from Idaho are considered on par with those from the Midwest and Northeast... which generally means far inferior. But sold at Albertsons for a premium...

Super S
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Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by Super S » November 10th, 2018, 7:19 am

Super S wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 7:27 am
storewanderer wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:57 pm
Super S wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:33 am


In Portland, it seems like Safeway is the stronger of the two brands. With that said though, it seems like more Safeway branded stores are now closing than the Albertsons branded stores. The locations closing seem to be more visible locations that should be doing well enough to stay open, particularly Vancouver's Mill Plain/136th location. It's getting hard to figure out now which direction they are going to go...at one point it looked like the Albertsons name would eventually disappear from the Portland market, now I am not so sure.
They are supposedly negotiating with the landlord of Mill Plain again... store might not close. Given the space has been being marketed for the past six months and it appears there are no takers, it would appear to be in everyone's best interest to work something out to keep the store open at least for the time being.

As far as who has the stronger brand goes, after all of the closures of the Albertsons banner over the years, many of the remaining stores are the very best representations of that brand. So the few stores that brand has left, are going to be above average type stores. Those stores are a cut above the typical Safeway with better perimeters (especially meat) and a wider mix of center store products (especially drug). Safeway on the other hand has been on a major decline for years, the stores suffer from a lack of capex, poor merchandising, inconsistent perimeter execution, and various other problems that I think got "resolved" in the Albertsons banner soon after Cerberus got control of their respective groups of stores (both the groups they got over a decade ago as well as the more recent Supervalu purchase), either through swift store closures or swift changes in operations. For some reason, Cerberus has not been able to fix these problems with the Safeway banner with the success they did with the Albertsons banner.
Well, considering that Safeway has made an official closing announcement, I have my doubts about the store staying open. I also doubt it would reopen as Albertsons considering they have already closed all but one Vancouver location.

And speaking of that one Vancouver location (Salmon Creek) it received a cheap Supervalu remodel which consisted of a wall repaint and rearranging a few aisles, but not repositioning lighting where the aisles ran a different direction before. It also retained the original blue-gray flooring. This one is certainly NOT the best representation of the Albertsons brand. Oddly, there is a Safeway about a mile south which is also still open, and Albertsons still has a store about the same distance from the Safeway in Battle Ground.

I don't think they are worried about the best representations when you see stores like Jantzen Beach closing.
I stand corrected now. In an interesting turn of events...136th & Mill Plain now is officially NOT CLOSING:

https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/nov ... stay-open/

I have to wonder now what the future plans here are. While there is a WinCo just down the road, this is an area which has rapidly grown and continues to do so. It's not an area retailers are abandoning, even though Albertsons did just that some time ago. It will be interesting to see how this ordeal affects sales at this location.

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