Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

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storewanderer
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Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by storewanderer » April 18th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Not official yet... but the mayor of San Jose seems to be the one who is saying this may happen.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/new ... close.html

I wonder what went wrong. It looks like the parking garage went wrong.

Store is about to hit 10 years old.

Looks like there have been issues with the validated parking. Yes, you really need to offer free parking to make a grocery store work in a downtown. I am sure Safeway can subsidize this with the proceeds from all the ultra thick plastic bag fees they are getting in NorCal, especially as some cities there have increased bags to 25cents or are about to increase bags to 25cents.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/07/20/ ... d-parking/

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by CalItalian » April 19th, 2019, 8:11 pm

Even Gelson's in Century City or Whole Foods in Downtown L.A. offers 3 hours free parking with a $5 purchase (or free valet parking for 3 hours with a $25 purchase for Gelson's in Century City). Ralphs Downtown L.A. is free parking (No purchase necessary 90 minute self validation). Ralphs Westwood directly across the street from UCLA, 2 hours free parking with self validation. No purchase necessary.

I've been in that Safeway a few times while visiting relatives in San Jose that live close by. Not a fan of its limited assortment or one cashier with a long line. For those attending the university, much better deals at the Grocery Outlet just a few blocks away.

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by rwsandiego » April 19th, 2019, 10:37 pm

This reminds me of the parking fiasco at Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego. For years and years individual merchants would validate parking. You could buy a Starbucks coffee and get a few hours of free parking. Likewise, the Orpheum Theater and the movie theater would validate. The parking lot was always packed as were the restaurants, stores, and the mall.

Then Westfield had the brilliant idea that in order to get free parking you had to present receipts totaling $25 or more to the customer service desk. Almost overnight, the mall went from packed to ghost town. They pretty quickly dropped the $25 minimum, but you still had to go to the desk. The mall is very strangely configured, so it was a trek to get to the one desk. I think they added validators throughout the mall, but it was too late. Restaurants closed, then Nordstrom closed. Jimbo's, a local Whole Foods-like chain, sued over the lack of mall traffic and the parking - it was a mess!

On the plus side, there is plenty of available parking now.

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by pseudo3d » April 21st, 2019, 6:12 pm

I think one of the problems it was an unusual format that was in reaction to Fresh & Easy and the idea of "smaller grocery stores" as a trend that never really took off as a long-time trend. If I had to guess, the logistics on the site weren't working out (profitability per square feet, food waste, accessibility, etc.) and Safeway isn't renewing it.

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by storewanderer » April 21st, 2019, 7:16 pm

NorCal Safeway has a lot of standard small format stores around the bay area in similar locations to this.

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by rwsandiego » April 21st, 2019, 9:04 pm

storewanderer wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 7:16 pm
NorCal Safeway has a lot of standard small format stores around the bay area in similar locations to this.
You took the words right out of my keyboard.

That said, San Jose is less transit-focused than San Francisco or Oakland, so without parking the store just won't work. I can't recall how many residential buildings are located in downtown San Jose, but my guess is "not enough to sustain the store without people who drive from neighboring communities." We also don't know what the parking issue really is. For example, does Safeway want parking spaces close to the store and the building owner want it dispersed throughout the lot?

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by pseudo3d » April 23rd, 2019, 11:35 am

storewanderer wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 7:16 pm
NorCal Safeway has a lot of standard small format stores around the bay area in similar locations to this.
How many of those were in stable locations and had lasted for decades?

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Re: Rumor: Downtown San Jose, CA Safeway "Market" to close

Post by Alpha8472 » April 25th, 2019, 5:43 pm

This mini Safeway was a lost cause. San Jose is a very car-centric area. The city is so spread out that you have to drive. If there is no free parking, your grocery store is doomed. The limited assortment was stupid, as you had to drive to a larger supermarket just to get the rest of your shopping done. The rent on this store must have been high since it is in the expensive downtown area.

San Jose is not San Francisco. San Francisco is a dense urban city where most people walk or take transit. They are forced to shop at local high priced mini-supermarkets because they don't have cars. Small format grocery stores can work there, but they cannot survive in San Jose. Fresh and Easy was a small format and even it could not survive due to its limited selection. People in this area want one stop shopping with a full range of groceries and products.

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