It is funny, this article at the very end mentions Oakdale. I was there recently. The new Cub (which is a structure with a layout identical to any new Albertsons built in the past decade, except with a different decor package and self bagging checkstands) sits right across the road from a new Hy Vee.bm10k wrote: ↑August 6th, 2017, 6:30 amhttp://www.startribune.com/supervalu-pl ... 438604343/
Look Like Supervalu is trying to revitalize Cub.it makes me wonder if it too little too late
On a weekday at noontime, the Cub had perhaps 20 customers. That may be an over-estimate. Two checkouts open which did not have steady traffic. Deli hardly had any product, but had a few employees; big hot food area which was very empty; one flavor of pizza by the slice, over at the cold case part of the case is filled with mock party trays. They have a nice enough looking seating area in front of the deli for dine in meals; nobody was sitting there eating anything. Seafood/meat is large and looked okay but was not staffed (ring bell). Bakery also was real lightly stocked. Produce looked good. Actually the store looked fine. There was nothing wrong with it other than lack of customers and the perimeter departments definitely spoke to the lack of customers. The employees seemed indifferent; the person at self checkout did not greet me or thank me or the other person using them at the same time as I was. I looked around deli and 2 employees looked at me but did not say anything to me.
Then across the street to Hy Vee. You'd think you were at Disneyland. There must have been 400 cars in the parking lot. The deli and food service area alone had 20+ employees. The presentation and appearance of the departments in the store is top of the line. The area where customers sit and eat food in front of the deli was packed. They have a sit down restaurant walled off from the main store as well and it appeared to have customers eating as well. Bakery had at least 5 employees. The entire Hy Vee had activity throughout the store. The employees were very friendly and I was greeted numerous times throughout the store even if I just looked at a service counter for a few seconds (Hy Vees have a ton of service counters; there is service Asian, service Pizza, service Chicken, service sandwich, service deli, standard bakery, a second bakery/chocolate counter up at the front door, service meat...).
I got to go into some other Hy Vee locations around Minneapolis and had similar observations. The store were very busy. Most Cub locations are not in the direct line of fire of Hy Vee but within a mile or so. The Cub locations are noticeably less busy than the Hy Vee locations are, but are probably doing okay volume.
Hy Vee also has an interesting deal going with Starbucks. They are building gas stations in the parking lot. The convenience store building is a perhaps 10,000 square foot structure that is half convenience store and half Starbucks (with drive through and seating). These Hy Vee Starbucks present as if they are a standard corporate run Starbucks Store. Definitely a far leap from the usual supermarket kiosk Starbucks.
After seeing what I saw it will be interesting to see what comes of Cub. I used to think Cub would be a good purchase for Albertsons or Kroger, but I will be interested to see now what happens. Hy Vee is expanding rapidly around there and is executing like a well oiled machine at every location. I don't know how they do it. Hy Vee's new stores just keep getting better and better. The old stores of 20 years ago Hy Vee built were already well above average but these new ones are even better.
Cub isn't a bad store. They are reasonably priced, fresh departments look pretty fresh, and they are clean. I would put them about on par with a typical Kroger type operation. They are priced quite a bit lower than a typical Albertsons operation. The locations that do not have a Hy Vee nearby seem to be pulling strong traffic, but I have to think Hy Vee will continue to expand.
Hy Vee is a really tough competitor. I really struggle with if I think they or Wegmans are the best grocer in the US. But for some reason, I am more impressed with Hy Vee.