Pavilions?

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ClownLoach
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Pavilions?

Post by ClownLoach »

Just when it seemed that Pavilions was being reinvigorated, with a nice new decor package and store renovations - and the first conversion of a Vons to Pavilions in years (Laguna Niguel)... Suddenly it seems they're reversing direction. The Anaheim Hills Pavilions, in one of the most upscale areas in Orange County, has been abruptly rebranded as Vons. I wonder if that new Sherman Oaks store is actually going to open as a Pavilions after all - there was some discussion on another post about ABS trying to decide if they would use a different banner there? Is Pavilions being put out to pasture again?

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

Did they do a store remodel or something in conjunction with the banner change?

As more and more old grocery people in upper management have been retiring or leaving Albertsons and being replaced by people who may have food industry background but not grocery retail background, I think we are seeing some interesting decisions being made and we will see how things play out.

With that said, I think Vons is a trash operation based on my multiple experiences with that Mammoth Lakes Store and the absolutely terrible Bishop Store, and the name Vons should be downplayed as much as possible. If they want to run a seriously good store with a large perimeter and strong execution they should use the Pavilions name, if they can actually execute properly which I have doubts of. If they want to run a clean, large, strong center store mix medium volume basic store they should probably use the Albertsons banner; they seem to be able to run that banner okay on the central coast and around San Diego... They can save the Vons banner for smaller, run down, outdated stores which is what the most productive Vons Stores are- captive audience locatons that will tolerate long lines, high prices, and a dirty outdated store. At least the company was smart enough to take Las Vegas away from Vons and give it to Southwest to run and took Fresno away from Vons and gave it to NorCal to run (not sure if Fresno was a gift or a last ditch effort to save a long failing market)- pretty bad when a division gets markets taken away from it like that; speaks volumes as to the situation there.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by Bluelightspecial »

ClownLoach wrote: September 6th, 2020, 8:31 am Just when it seemed that Pavilions was being reinvigorated, with a nice new decor package and store renovations - and the first conversion of a Vons to Pavilions in years (Laguna Niguel)... Suddenly it seems they're reversing direction. The Anaheim Hills Pavilions, in one of the most upscale areas in Orange County, has been abruptly rebranded as Vons. I wonder if that new Sherman Oaks store is actually going to open as a Pavilions after all - there was some discussion on another post about ABS trying to decide if they would use a different banner there? Is Pavilions being put out to pasture again?
That surprises me that they would convert that store, especially since Orange County seems to be a location of a lot of Pavilions. I drove by the Sherman Oaks location last week and they have the Pavilions sign up. It looks like it's about to open.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by pseudo3d »

storewanderer wrote: September 6th, 2020, 10:48 am Did they do a store remodel or something in conjunction with the banner change?

As more and more old grocery people in upper management have been retiring or leaving Albertsons and being replaced by people who may have food industry background but not grocery retail background, I think we are seeing some interesting decisions being made and we will see how things play out.

With that said, I think Vons is a trash operation based on my multiple experiences with that Mammoth Lakes Store and the absolutely terrible Bishop Store, and the name Vons should be downplayed as much as possible. If they want to run a seriously good store with a large perimeter and strong execution they should use the Pavilions name, if they can actually execute properly which I have doubts of. If they want to run a clean, large, strong center store mix medium volume basic store they should probably use the Albertsons banner; they seem to be able to run that banner okay on the central coast and around San Diego... They can save the Vons banner for smaller, run down, outdated stores which is what the most productive Vons Stores are- captive audience locatons that will tolerate long lines, high prices, and a dirty outdated store. At least the company was smart enough to take Las Vegas away from Vons and give it to Southwest to run and took Fresno away from Vons and gave it to NorCal to run (not sure if Fresno was a gift or a last ditch effort to save a long failing market)- pretty bad when a division gets markets taken away from it like that; speaks volumes as to the situation there.
I thought the decision to move Las Vegas was because of the Albertsons stores being there were part of the Southwest division, which was a bit more widespread than Safeway's SW division was (I think Safeway has a few scattered in NM, where Albertsons stretches all the way to El Paso).

Proposing renaming some Albertsons stores with Vons is an interesting take, between the Lucky takeover and the SVU-run SoCal stores, I was under the impression that Albertsons was the weaker name of the two SoCal brands.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

storewanderer wrote: September 6th, 2020, 10:48 am With that said, I think Vons is a trash operation based on my multiple experiences with that Mammoth Lakes Store and the absolutely terrible Bishop Store, and the name Vons should be downplayed as much as possible. If they want to run a seriously good store with a large perimeter and strong execution they should use the Pavilions name, if they can actually execute properly which I have doubts of. If they want to run a clean, large, strong center store mix medium volume basic store they should probably use the Albertsons banner; they seem to be able to run that banner okay on the central coast and around San Diego...
The problem with those 2 Bishop/Mammoth stores is that they are very isolated.

A History of Albertsons in San Diego:
Before ASC, Albertsons was #4 in San Diego County, with 70's/80's/90's stores mostly in North County (they entered back in 1972!). They bought four stores from local chain Big Bear in 1994 (stores in Carlsbad, Del Mar, La Jolla, one in San Ysidro was converted into a Max Foods, then ABS Super Saver, then SVU Lucky).
Meanwhile, ASC built 5 Lucky/Sav-on stores in Oceanside, La Mesa, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, and Chula Vista. Those stores are still operating as Albertsons, with the exception of Oceanside, divested to Stater.
The ASC purchase made Albertsons a close #2 in San Diego County. Albertsons invested heavily in SD in the early to mid-2000's, building a number of new Albertsons and Sav-on drug stores, and remodeling a lot. SD shoppers were fine with the Lucky/Albertsons marriage, unlike shoppers in NorCal.
During SVU ownership, Albertsons only lost two stores in San Diego County. They opened a few stores in the suburbs, and one in Downtown SD.
Unfortunately, Albertsons sold around 15 stores to Haggen during the merger with Safeway. They bought back stores in Rancho Bernardo and El Cajon though.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by steps »

That conversion really surprises me. AH is a very upscale and nice area. A VONS does not fit the demographic there at all.

As for the conversions to VONS from Pavilions, some were not needed.

Arcadia: It's a toss up for this store. It's in a decent area but it seems demographic changes might have been worth the conversion. The store is still VERY busy but since the change, the deli, bakery and other service departments have big gaps where other amenities might have been. I think this store should have stayed a Pavilions and just adapted to the needs of the "new" clientele.

Monrovia: Same as above

Then there are the stores that SHOULD be Pavilions but our for some reason or another not.

I was at the Long Beach Pavilions tonight and I don't know about this store. There is a Grocery Outlet a few blocks away. The store never seems busy, granted I only go at night, I was there at around 7pm and it wasn't busy at all. But they do keep all fresh departments fully stocked. This store also still has the Lifestyle decor when most Pavilions have moved over to the new Pavilions decor. This store is also very large and some space seems underutilized.

I don't know what Albertson's thinking with the Pavilions banner. It seems they want to run it how they want to and not adapt to the neighborhoods they are located in. Departments Pavilions used to have (sausage dept, food courts, etc.) have come back in style. Pavilions could be "creme de la creme" if they look at how Gelsons and Bristol Farms runs their stores and they products they carry. Pavilions truly was one of a kind when they first opened and one of the best concepts created for a different kind of grocery shopping experience.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

pseudo3d wrote: September 6th, 2020, 3:59 pm
I thought the decision to move Las Vegas was because of the Albertsons stores being there were part of the Southwest division, which was a bit more widespread than Safeway's SW division was (I think Safeway has a few scattered in NM, where Albertsons stretches all the way to El Paso).

Proposing renaming some Albertsons stores with Vons is an interesting take, between the Lucky takeover and the SVU-run SoCal stores, I was under the impression that Albertsons was the weaker name of the two SoCal brands.
No, Albertsons Las Vegas was a previous Lucky territory and run by Supervalu SoCal Division. Albertsons LLC moved it (and St. George, UT) over to Southwest Division. The Las Vegas Vons hung on a little longer under SoCal Division's marketing/ads (may have already combined operations into the Las Vegas Albertsons group though, unclear on that) but were ultimately taken away from that division and shifted to Southwest Division.

What is funny is now various in-store signage and marketing materials in AZ and NorCal say Vons (along with Safeway and/or Albertsons and/or Andronicos) on them since now Vons is spread across 3 different divisions yet the irony is AZ has less than 10 stores under the name Vons and NorCal has like 7 stores under the name Vons.

At this point most of what is left of Albertsons in SoCal is pretty nice stores. There were a ton of junk former Lucky stores (those were definitely worse than a run down 40 year old 35k square foot Lifestyle Vons) but over the years all of the missteps of Albertsons, then Supervalu, then the whole Haggen thing, and there are not many of those lousy stores left as they have been closed and mostly converted to other formats (Stater, Hispanic, etc.). I am not sure any are left (I am sure there have to be some left...). Albertsons spent significant capex in San Diego, Bakersfield/surrounding fringe markets southeast of there, Central Coast, and has at this point primarily large modern stores left.
Last edited by storewanderer on September 6th, 2020, 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

steps wrote: September 6th, 2020, 10:16 pm
I don't know what Albertson's thinking with the Pavilions banner. It seems they want to run it how they want to and not adapt to the neighborhoods they are located in.
This seems to be a problem with large retail chains in general. This is not unique to Albertsons.

However this is concerning. Albertsons under Bob Miller was all about decentralization. The first few years after the Safeway merger we saw a lot of decentralization take place on merchandising, marketing, pricing, etc. on a division by division basis, and it seemed like it was yielding positive results. It was made well known the company over-centralized time and time again, and the Safeway group also way over-centralized. Are they re-centralizing again or is the local management simply missing the mark?

Conversely right as Bob Miller was pushing decentralization at Albertsons/Safeway, Kroger was pushing major centralization of marketing and merchandising across its divisions...

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

retailfanmitchell019 wrote: September 6th, 2020, 8:04 pm A History of Albertsons in San Diego:
SD shoppers were fine with the Lucky/Albertsons marriage, unlike shoppers in NorCal.
Part of the issue was Albertsons built or rebuilt to the point they seemed like brand new large stores, more stores in each SD (and each Bakersfield, and Las Vegas, and Central Coast) in its first year or two after the ASC merger than it built in the entire NorCal Region its entire time in NorCal. Albertsons already had a bit of a leg up in San Diego since that was the one SoCal region where Lucky and Alpha Beta combined in the late 80's, and had to do curiously few store divests in San Diego in 1999.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by Bluelightspecial »

storewanderer wrote: September 6th, 2020, 11:07 pm
pseudo3d wrote: September 6th, 2020, 3:59 pm
I thought the decision to move Las Vegas was because of the Albertsons stores being there were part of the Southwest division, which was a bit more widespread than Safeway's SW division was (I think Safeway has a few scattered in NM, where Albertsons stretches all the way to El Paso).

Proposing renaming some Albertsons stores with Vons is an interesting take, between the Lucky takeover and the SVU-run SoCal stores, I was under the impression that Albertsons was the weaker name of the two SoCal brands.
No, Albertsons Las Vegas was a previous Lucky territory and run by Supervalu SoCal Division. Albertsons LLC moved it (and St. George, UT) over to Southwest Division. The Las Vegas Vons hung on a little longer under SoCal Division's marketing/ads (may have already combined operations into the Las Vegas Albertsons group though, unclear on that) but were ultimately taken away from that division and shifted to Southwest Division.

What is funny is now various in-store signage and marketing materials in AZ and NorCal say Vons (along with Safeway and/or Albertsons and/or Andronicos) on them since now Vons is spread across 3 different divisions yet the irony is AZ has less than 10 stores under the name Vons and NorCal has like 7 stores under the name Vons.

At this point most of what is left of Albertsons in SoCal is pretty nice stores. There were a ton of junk former Lucky stores (those were definitely worse than a run down 40 year old 35k square foot Lifestyle Vons) but over the years all of the missteps of Albertsons, then Supervalu, then the whole Haggen thing, and there are not many of those lousy stores left as they have been closed and mostly converted to other formats (Stater, Hispanic, etc.). I am not sure any are left (I am sure there have to be some left...). Albertsons spent significant capex in San Diego, Bakersfield/surrounding fringe markets southeast of there, Central Coast, and has at this point primarily large modern stores left.
I'm not sure how you can call Vons stores "trash" based on two remote stores and also say "at this point most of what is left of Albertsons in SoCal is pretty nice stores". Both are in the same division and I'm guessing run by the same people. Having been in both one of the Ridgecrest and Taft Albertsons stores recently and I can tell you they were far from "pretty nice"

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