Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

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Alpha8472
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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by Alpha8472 » March 2nd, 2020, 9:24 pm

I had no idea about the new Raley's owned stores. In the San Francisco Bay Area where I am, we are stuck with Safeway after Safeway. There is not much choice. There is one Safeway remodel underway in Walnut Creek at the very ancient 1960s Tice Valley Safeway. That store got an entirely new facade and windows. The interior decor has not yet changed. It previously had the cheap Lifestyle remodel with unlighted wall decor signs.

Many other San Francisco Bay Area Safeway stores got the lighting changed to the super bright lights. It really makes the stores look old.

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by storewanderer » March 3rd, 2020, 10:58 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 9:24 pm
I had no idea about the new Raley's owned stores. In the San Francisco Bay Area where I am, we are stuck with Safeway after Safeway. There is not much choice. There is one Safeway remodel underway in Walnut Creek at the very ancient 1960s Tice Valley Safeway. That store got an entirely new facade and windows. The interior decor has not yet changed. It previously had the cheap Lifestyle remodel with unlighted wall decor signs.

Many other San Francisco Bay Area Safeway stores got the lighting changed to the super bright lights. It really makes the stores look old.
Those super bright lights are step 1 of the remodel process. Where you see those lights, a remodel is coming soon.

If you factor in the Asian chains, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes there are still a good number of choices in the bay area. Up in Marin County there are a lot of high priced conventional independents. I think the competition is quite intense, which is reflected in the ads that Safeway is running lately. That competition is just not conventional format grocers. I often wonder how the picture would look had Albertsons not rebannered Lucky in 1999 and left it alone to do its thing... I think the picture would be much different today and old Lucky would have evolved into a great operator continuing to operate a number of smaller stores along with larger stores and catering to the diverse customer bases of the stores well. I also think Raleys would have more of a presence in the bay area as they could have spent money to grow there rather than all the money they spent to get into Las Vegas along with the losses they shouldered in the years they operated there. These conventional format stores can cater just fine to a diverse customer base if the company allows for a merchandising flexibility and pricing flexibility to make it work, which I think the old Lucky would have done better than anyone else.

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by J-Man » March 4th, 2020, 6:11 am

Has there been any talk of Aldi moving into Northern California in the foreseeable future?

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by Bagels » March 24th, 2020, 10:05 pm

It's great to see Safeway (Albertsons) expanding in places like Northern California, Hawaii, etc. Most other large chains, including Kroger are stagnant, shrinking their footprints and building only replacement stores.
J-Man wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 6:11 am
Has there been any talk of Aldi moving into Northern California in the foreseeable future?
There hasn't been talk, and quite frankly I wouldn't expect it. They got off to a slow start in Southern California, and while there's been more acceptance to their brand, their expansion recently has largely focused on the Inland Empire and San Diego County. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of real estate has squeezed them out.

Then again, if the recession triggers a retail apocalypse, they may be able to find suitable leases.

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by storewanderer » March 24th, 2020, 10:28 pm

Bagels wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 10:05 pm
It's great to see Safeway (Albertsons) expanding in places like Northern California, Hawaii, etc. Most other large chains, including Kroger are stagnant, shrinking their footprints and building only replacement stores.
J-Man wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 6:11 am
Has there been any talk of Aldi moving into Northern California in the foreseeable future?
There hasn't been talk, and quite frankly I wouldn't expect it. They got off to a slow start in Southern California, and while there's been more acceptance to their brand, their expansion recently has largely focused on the Inland Empire and San Diego County. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of real estate has squeezed them out.

Then again, if the recession triggers a retail apocalypse, they may be able to find suitable leases.
Aldi's expansion route to NorCal should be to go approach CVS and take half of the floor space of those old smelly Longs Stores over. It would bring more traffic to the area surrounding the otherwise dead old smelly decrepit and did I say old Longs Stores and it would provide more options for customers.

I think a lot of the recent expansion by Grocery Outlet was to try to "beat" Aldi to various markets. The concepts are kind of different so I think they can co-exist, both at the expense of conventional grocers.

Also I think we are going to see a lot of "power center" retail become available as certain of the category killer chains close stores. There is a lot of commercial real estate in those centers in NorCal that is vacant save for temporary tenants that come back every year like those Halloween stores. Perfect opportunity for Aldi.

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by Bagels » March 25th, 2020, 12:05 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 10:28 pm
Aldi's expansion route to NorCal should be to go approach CVS and take half of the floor space of those old smelly Longs Stores over. It would bring more traffic to the area surrounding the otherwise dead old smelly decrepit and did I say old Longs Stores and it would provide more options for customers.

I think a lot of the recent expansion by Grocery Outlet was to try to "beat" Aldi to various markets. The concepts are kind of different so I think they can co-exist, both at the expense of conventional grocers.

Also I think we are going to see a lot of "power center" retail become available as certain of the category killer chains close stores. There is a lot of commercial real estate in those centers in NorCal that is vacant save for temporary tenants that come back every year like those Halloween stores. Perfect opportunity for Aldi.
Grocery Outlet stores are independent owned and operated, which is why product selection and pricing can vary widely from store to store. They've been a huge Wall Street favorite the past couple years. I agree, their business model is different -- they sell mostly discontinued and overstocked items, as well as extreme value brands. They run national ads with loss leaders on common items like soda, various meats, etc. Personally, I've yet to spend a penny there -- most of what they're selling can be purchased for less at 99 Cent Only (albeit, that's gradually changing as 99 is increasing pricing on national brands), and the rest is either junk (extreme value brands) or not priced any better than you can find elsewhere. That said, I'm sure there's some good bargains from time-to-time... just not enough to get me in the doors, especially as the locations near me don't participate in loss leaders.

Aldi has largely stayed out of Los Angeles and Orange Counties since it's initial push, building stores in the surrounding area. They could do the same to Northern California, but recently they've shifted their attention toward doubling-down in the Midwest and building up Phoenix, after saying nearly all of their new stores would be focused in California. Their brand seems to be turning around -- the store by me in Laguna Woods use to be deserted, but is now fairly busy, and has dropped the heavy loss leaders it was pushing (like 49c eggs, when everyone else wanted 2.49 and higher). I've read that they're interested in going into Las Vegas next, so it may be awhile before they hit NorCal. But man, does Las Vegas get the attention... when I spent a summer there after HS, there was a number of Smith's, Food 4 Less, Raley's, Albertsons, Vons and Walmart Supercenters -- for a metro area that didn't even top 1M people at the time. Kroger still has several closed Smith's and F4L availbale to sublease, even after shuttering the stores a decade ago...

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by jamcool » March 25th, 2020, 8:17 pm

Aldi has done nothing in Phoenix so far and has pushed back opening dates

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by storewanderer » March 25th, 2020, 11:54 pm

Bagels wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 12:05 pm


Grocery Outlet stores are independent owned and operated, which is why product selection and pricing can vary widely from store to store. They've been a huge Wall Street favorite the past couple years. I agree, their business model is different -- they sell mostly discontinued and overstocked items, as well as extreme value brands. They run national ads with loss leaders on common items like soda, various meats, etc. Personally, I've yet to spend a penny there -- most of what they're selling can be purchased for less at 99 Cent Only (albeit, that's gradually changing as 99 is increasing pricing on national brands), and the rest is either junk (extreme value brands) or not priced any better than you can find elsewhere. That said, I'm sure there's some good bargains from time-to-time... just not enough to get me in the doors, especially as the locations near me don't participate in loss leaders.

What are those Grocery Outlets doing, selling the ad items, but at higher prices than the ad has? Or just not having the ad items at all?

I am surprised they are allowed to do that during the ad period... have you contacted Grocery Outlet and asked about that practice? They do those ad buys very carefully and push product out to ensure the stores have the items when the ad starts...

The ones in my area always honor the ad, assuming they have the product. A couple months ago they started to have Raspberries and Blackberries 6oz at .99 and they were good Driscoll label ones (then it went to 1.50, then 2.00, now it is over $3... and not always Driscoll label the past couple weeks), right when 99only increased their berries to 1.49. The past few weeks, they have great Talking Rain Peach Nectarine Seltzer with mid April expiration 1 L only .50, great deal for a great seltzer usually not seen outside OR/WA/ID. There are other flavors too, but that Peach Nectarine is unique and great. I also notice most of the pricing is uniform among the stores in my area. Where you can do really good with them is on items that are expiring in a few days. I especially like to go buy dairy products there that are about to expire; .10 yogurt, .25 Odwalla, etc. Great deals. Some locations (the ones that are obviously struggling) seem to have a lot more of these deals than others.

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by Bagels » March 26th, 2020, 1:05 am

storewanderer wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 11:54 pm
What are those Grocery Outlets doing, selling the ad items, but at higher prices than the ad has? Or just not having the ad items at all?

I am surprised they are allowed to do that during the ad period... have you contacted Grocery Outlet and asked about that practice? They do those ad buys very carefully and push product out to ensure the stores have the items when the ad starts...
Both locations near me are owned by different franchisees, and both have notices posted when you walk in advising you that they're opting out of certain sales. They read something like 'We're a family owned store, owned by the Jones Family, Southern California natives who've lived in Orange County for over blah, blah, blah. We want to bring you the lowest price possible, but our ad is national and we are local and independent, therefore we were unable to negotiate with suppliers on XXX..." It's usually limited high-volume loss leaders, like soda, eggs, etc. One location doesn't even carry the 20/24 packs of soda that are frequently on sale.
The ones in my area always honor the ad, assuming they have the product. A couple months ago they started to have Raspberries and Blackberries 6oz at .99 and they were good Driscoll label ones (then it went to 1.50, then 2.00, now it is over $3... and not always Driscoll label the past couple weeks), right when 99only increased their berries to 1.49. The past few weeks, they have great Talking Rain Peach Nectarine Seltzer with mid April expiration 1 L only .50, great deal for a great seltzer usually not seen outside OR/WA/ID. There are other flavors too, but that Peach Nectarine is unique and great. I also notice most of the pricing is uniform among the stores in my area. Where you can do really good with them is on items that are expiring in a few days. I especially like to go buy dairy products there that are about to expire; .10 yogurt, .25 Odwalla, etc. Great deals. Some locations (the ones that are obviously struggling) seem to have a lot more of these deals than others.
When the hysteria settles, I'll take another look and see if I find more reduced items. Don't get me wrong -- I've seen occasional great deals, like $1 for a frozen Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie, $1 for prior Holiday Lighthouse sweets, $1.99 for a discontinued InnovAsia Entree, etc. But it's not often and it's too difficult to get in and out of my local store. 99 Cent Only usually has better deals (although they've been trying to increase prices on national brands), and carries many of the same items.
jamcool wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 8:17 pm
Aldi has done nothing in Phoenix so far and has pushed back opening dates
Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't realize this. Last I heard, they had signed leases on more than a dozen site locations and were actively building out their warehouse. But they've been on a building binge in the Midwest - it looks like they've largely paused their West Coast expansion for now. IMO, they should've built out their existing Midwestern footprint (cheap leases/real estate, strong following without retorting to the heavy loss leaders in place in CA) but like many companies, they went looking for that pot of California gold...

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Re: Safeway opening four new stores in NorCal this year

Post by klkla » March 26th, 2020, 7:47 am

Bagels wrote: IMO, they should've built out their existing Midwestern footprint (cheap leases/real estate, strong following without retorting to the heavy loss leaders in place in CA) but like many companies, they went looking for that pot of California gold...
This phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. Almost every company that has expanded here has failed.
Let's get back to work! Test. Trace. Isolate.

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