Smart & Final Extra

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SamSpade
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Smart & Final Extra

Post by SamSpade » January 25th, 2019, 6:15 pm

As we only have the sister chain, formerly known as Cash & Carry... now Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores...
This was kind of interesting to me.

Retail Archaeology YouTube channel takes a video tour through a Smart and Final Extra:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fysTpVpPAy4

Looked like a decent market, really.

arizonaguy
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Re: Smart & Final Extra

Post by arizonaguy » January 25th, 2019, 6:54 pm

I live near one that does decent business.

It's a decent store with okay pricing. If you shop promotions and use coupon apps (which I do) you can tend to get better pricing elsewhere. For the type of store it is, I have been impressed with the produce selection.

All in all I'd say that WinCo tends to beat it pretty handily (and when Aldi opens up I think Aldi will be a better operator than Smart and Final Extra) but it's not terrible.

I almost never think of going there though as I have a Walmart Supercenter, WinCo, Safeway, SuperTarget, Fry's, and Bashas' all closer to me.

storewanderer
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Re: Smart & Final Extra

Post by storewanderer » January 25th, 2019, 11:52 pm

I don't think this operator is great at all. The pricing is slightly below a Safeway or Raleys, and well above Smiths, Save Mart, WinCo, or Wal Mart, but the quality of the store is somewhere slightly above Wal Mart and far below WinCo.

They only have one in Reno (they were supposed to open another one out in South Reno but I think they got scared at the thought of competing with WinCo, Smiths, and Wal Mart) in a not so great part of town. It does very well, primarily because historically the nearby competition was terrible on center store pricing (Save Mart and Marketon). After Save Mart's price cuts last year, they are now much closer to being in line with Smart & Final's center store pricing.

I do like their Cash & Carry format (they recently spent money changing signs to Smart Foodservice for some unknown reason); that is more true to the original Smart & Final format. The "Extra" format reminds me of a downgraded version of a Food 4 Less with higher prices.

I have been surprised Albertsons hasn't tried to re-claim some of the former Haggen Stores that Smart & Final bought. Smart & Final has done minimal remodeling to most of those stores.

The "Extra" format is the old failed "SmartCo Foods" format that they tried to use in Denver and closed up after a matter of months. I have been surprised it has expanded as widely as it has. Many of the locations I see seem to do pretty low volumes around Sacramento and also the South Lake Tahoe one seems to be really slow.

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Re: Smart & Final Extra

Post by rwsandiego » January 26th, 2019, 5:14 pm

They are not bad, but they are not particularly good, IMO, either. The North Park (San Diego) store's produce was surprisingly good. In fact, for years I only bought apples and oranges at Smart and Final because they were dirt-cheap and better quality than Ralphs, VONS, Sprouts/Henry's, and Albertsons. The bakery was so-so, but the store is tiny so it was remarkable that they had what they had. I was not impressed with the meat that I bought. It was chewy and not very tender. When I bought beef and pork a second time, it was again chewy and tough. Their chicken was not any less expensive than the standard supermarkets' so I didn't buy it, as they only sold large quantities.

I will give them credit for taking small, urban stores like the one in North Park. Without Smart and Final Extra that part of San Diego would be a food desert. Kudos to them for providing fresh foods to the neighborhood.

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Re: Smart & Final Extra

Post by storewanderer » February 7th, 2019, 10:53 pm

I notice Smart & Final has put itself up for sale.

I wonder how many "underperforming stores" they have. Maybe Albertsons can get more divested stores back and convert them back to full service stores that will better serve their neighborhoods.

Lame Food 4 less wannabe store with lousy atmosphere and prices as high as a Safeway. What would go wrong?

They seem to be highlighting the success of the Cash & Carry format at this time. It appears to me Smart & Final overexpanded and is likely sitting on a lot of "underperforming" stores.

The irony is Cash & Carry is nearly identical to the old Smart & Final from the 80's and 90's.

They would have actually been better off years ago to keep the Henry's format and expand that on a wide scale rather than the wide scale expansion they've done of Smart & Final "Extra."

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Re: Smart & Final Extra

Post by arizonaguy » February 7th, 2019, 11:14 pm

storewanderer wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 10:53 pm
I notice Smart & Final has put itself up for sale.

I wonder how many "underperforming stores" they have. Maybe Albertsons can get more divested stores back and convert them back to full service stores that will better serve their neighborhoods.

Lame Food 4 less wannabe store with lousy atmosphere and prices as high as a Safeway. What would go wrong?

They seem to be highlighting the success of the Cash & Carry format at this time. It appears to me Smart & Final overexpanded and is likely sitting on a lot of "underperforming" stores.

The irony is Cash & Carry is nearly identical to the old Smart & Final from the 80's and 90's.

They would have actually been better off years ago to keep the Henry's format and expand that on a wide scale rather than the wide scale expansion they've done of Smart & Final "Extra."
Honestly, I think that the best fit for the store locations that Smart & Final has (at least in my area) is Aldi.

I could see Aldi (or Lidl) making a bid for these stores.

If Walmart wanted to expand its Sam's Club Now format they'd be another player.

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