Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. No non-grocery posts.
ninersdd
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 11
Joined: June 6th, 2017, 12:12 am
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by ninersdd » May 18th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Looks like the transition should be complete by June 10.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/raleys-se ... -locations

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » May 18th, 2018, 10:23 pm

Scolaris has been cutting inventory all month in preparation for this. Overall I think this should be a positive change but there are some things I will miss about Scolaris.

Still waiting to see what happens to the two Scolaris not included in this deal... both are just not good stores.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » May 21st, 2018, 11:07 pm

First store closed today, the Sak N Save. It will re-open under Raleys on Thursday morning (but still with the name Sak N Save).

Looked like some new produce fixtures arrived but were still on pallets. The produce department was fantastic before and was the best feature of this store. I'm not sure why they are changing this. The in-store contract postal unit, Western Union, and bill pay area is closed "permanently" according to signs and I saw a few customers trying to use it while I was there. This was previously a very busy store for bill payment and Western Union with 2-3 employees working and a line most of the time. I don't think the contract postal unit had much traffic. I know Raleys typically doesn't provide things like Western Union and bill pay anymore, but in this particular store I think they are making a mistake not providing these services. The neighborhood heavily utilized these services and there is/was clearly a strong demand. I know these services lose money and there are other issues, but, again, if there is enough demand...

Very long term employee I talked to mentioned they were retiring and this was their last day. Maybe just a coincidence.

Sounds like the store will be under new management as well. I guess this was one of the two locations sold that is getting new management. Not real surprised given the attitude in this particular store in the past. This was just not a happy store. But it is a challenging neighborhood and has a lot of incidents. Probably very difficult to run.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » May 25th, 2018, 11:53 pm

Sak N Save has reopened under Raleys. They have cut store hours by an hour now closing at Midnight instead of 1 AM. They have also subleased space to a money transfer service called Ria which also offers bill pay. They are not offering Western Union or the local energy company bill payment like they did before.

Sak N Save seems to be brighter and they clearly gave the place a good scrub while it was closed.

Produce area has less produce than before, but still has great variety.

Center store seems to be a work in progress. It appears they are going to continue offering some Best Yet items in this location because I saw nothing in Raleys brand here at all. Odd as the Food Sources are almost all Raleys brand now. Pricing on center store is much stronger than before, but it seems like those Best Yet items have higher prices than the Raleys brand counterparts at Food Source.

Plastic bags seem to be switching to some weird plain white no-store-name bags (same ones Food Source uses). There were still some remaining Sak N Save/Scolaris bags being used up on some registers. Paper bags said Food Source.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » May 30th, 2018, 10:23 pm

The first former Scolaris reopened as Raleys over the weekend. Little was done inside. Self checkout was removed (mistake), as was the customer service counter.

Boar's Head has been removed from the deli and replaced by Columbus at higher prices. Too bad. Hot food selection has been cut in half and prices increased on all of it. Bakery is comical as it has a bunch of high price/high end products that will be a hard sell in this location. Scolaris ran a basic bakery operation with mostly low cost type items. Produce area looks better than before, prices have increased dramatically (though they had some really good specials), and they have way more Organic than before (not sure that will sell in this location).

Meat area looks remarkably better than before. Scolaris sold Harris Ranch USDA Choice Beef (which Raleys also sells) but for some reason their meat areas never looked great. This Raleys meat area is drastically improved. More product, fresher product, better displayed. But again, pricing? 6.49/lb for Ground Round (Scolaris was 4.99/lb), 17.99/lb for Boneless NY Steak (Scolaris was 12.99/lb)? These prices seem higher than other Raleys around Reno/Sparks for some reason. This pricing WILL NOT work in rural Nevada (Fernley, Tonopah, Yerington)... I hope they have some other plan there...

Center store conversion is clearly a work in progress. Many center store items leftover from Scolaris are on clearance including old private label items. Shelf tags are a mixture of new tags and old tags and it is funny to see the old tags (with the old Scolaris prices) on some items and the new tags on other items. Raleys everyday pricing is definitely higher than Scolaris was, but they also have better promotions/deeper discounts. I am expecting a drastically improved center store here once Raleys does a full reset on the center store (I assume that will come, it needs it bad).

They also kept the old Scolaris cash registers and pinpads and just programmed them over to the Raleys system. It is funny as this equipment is not new by any stretch, the receipt printers are one sided printers unlike Raleys standard two sided printers, and the pinpads are small screen pinpads rather than Raleys large screened pinpads. I am used to Raleys "sparing no expense" in what they do, so I am a little surprised to see how some of this was handled.

Also they are using the weird plain white plastic bags with no store name on them... very weird. The other Raleys around town use bags that say Raleys.

I think the potential here is Raleys can draw in some higher income customers. Scolaris always felt pretty low rent in this location despite the fact that there is a decent amount of upper middle class housing nearby (along with some lower middle class housing). Raleys is clearly trying to target those upper middle class customers here, who Scolaris was not successfully reaching anymore. We will see how this works.

klkla
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1040
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 3:26 pm
Been thanked: 1 time
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by klkla » May 31st, 2018, 2:29 pm

storewanderer wrote:
May 30th, 2018, 10:23 pm
I am used to Raleys "sparing no expense" in what they do, so I am a little surprised to see how some of this was handled.
Maybe this is one of those 'get rid of a competitor' type of acquisition. By the store cheap, operate it a couple years and then get rid of it.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » May 31st, 2018, 7:24 pm

klkla wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 2:29 pm
storewanderer wrote:
May 30th, 2018, 10:23 pm
I am used to Raleys "sparing no expense" in what they do, so I am a little surprised to see how some of this was handled.
Maybe this is one of those 'get rid of a competitor' type of acquisition. By the store cheap, operate it a couple years and then get rid of it.
Well, these locations aren't really in Raleys current trade areas. So if they got rid of the stores, I would expect it would be to another operator. Raleys current trade areas are generally upper middle class neighborhoods. The only of these Scolaris Stores that fit that profile is Caughlin Ranch. Raleys struggles in the middle to lower middle class neighborhoods around here as evidenced by their low traffic stores in Reno North Hills, Sparks McCarran, Carson City, and 20+ year unremodeled store on Keystone in NW Reno (this one always has what seems like good foot traffic, but the lack of a remodel is telling). Yet these Scolaris Stores they bought are just that: stores in primarily middle class to lower middle class areas.

Actually as I went to another conversion today and saw the same things I saw in the first one (really disappointing given this was Caughlin Ranch), I realized what this reminds me of. This reminds me of Haggen in Southern California. But Haggen's conversions were actually much better done than these. Haggen's perimeters looked better, but the center store situation is eerily similar. And these stores still have the OLD (I mean that literally and figuratively) Scolaris decor, at least Haggen attempted some decor changes. I know a 3 day turnaround on store conversions is tight, but still.

I am wondering if it was also a matter of a very willing seller... Scolaris had been shrinking for years and the past few years in particular was operating like a zombie of sorts, but they did a good job on some things notably deli and produce... and Scolaris still has two very outdated stores open in Sparks and Sun Valley. See photos on Google. Real throwbacks.

ninersdd
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 11
Joined: June 6th, 2017, 12:12 am
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by ninersdd » May 31st, 2018, 10:39 pm

Obviously the higher pricing has been mentioned about Raleys then the Scolari's. I'm presuming in places like Fernley, Wal Mart will cream them head to head. I wonder what they will do with the pricing where they are the only game in town(like Yerington).

Apparently, according to Facebook, a Raleys district leader in Reno responded to a comment about the Mira Loma one and said that they are planning a remodel based on how customers shop(like from the Something Extra program)

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » June 2nd, 2018, 10:23 am

ninersdd wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 10:39 pm
Obviously the higher pricing has been mentioned about Raleys then the Scolari's. I'm presuming in places like Fernley, Wal Mart will cream them head to head. I wonder what they will do with the pricing where they are the only game in town(like Yerington).

Apparently, according to Facebook, a Raleys district leader in Reno responded to a comment about the Mira Loma one and said that they are planning a remodel based on how customers shop(like from the Something Extra program)
Yes, Raleys has been heavily remodeling (center store resets particularly) stores based on the Something Extra program data. They just did the one in Sparks on McCarran Blvd. and this resulted in significant SKU cuts. The aisles are now shorter than before and noticeably wider than before. Variety has dropped in many categories. I do feel the store was over-SKUed prior and the current reset is more appropriate for the volume the store does. Mix may have expanded in some categories, but I didn't notice any. This is a huge low volume store and the reset will help their shrink (volume was so low a lot of center store stuff was expiring but they had an "outlet center" aisle in the store where a lot of that went a month or two before expiration at 75% off).

This is a little tough when you buy a store. It takes time to get that data. It takes time to get customers to sign up for the loyalty program. And if you don't draw in new customers to the store (which is what they need to do), it is questionable exactly how good that data is. I think they need to go out on a limb and do some center store work on their own (Scolaris center store was not very good) because Raleys actually does really well with center store generally speaking and forgetting about pricing; they have a deep mix and they merchandise nicely.

We will see what is happening in Fernley. Scolaris lost a ton of business to Wal Mart in Fernley when it opened and I think slowly was getting the business back. The perimeter in that Fernley Store always looked excellent and it was pretty clear people were shopping it for perimeter and probably going to Wal Mart for center store. Whether or not Raleys perimeter will go over there, well, that remains to be seen. A lot of growth in Fernley. I think Fernley may see a competitor open up soon.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4002
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Raleys to buy 6 of 8 remaining Scolaris Stores

Post by storewanderer » June 4th, 2018, 11:21 pm

First signs of any real cosmetic work on the Reno locations. They are installing Raleys-style endcaps. This has involved removing a few floor tiles around the old endcaps and putting the new endcaps in place.

Also very heavy promotion going on, specifically around bakery, deli, and produce.

My observation of the Reno Stores so far is they are noticeably busier than before (but not crazy busy by any means) and also I am seeing a definite increase in basket size.

Post Reply