Pavilions?

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CalItalian
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Re: Pavilions?

Post by CalItalian »

storewanderer wrote: September 7th, 2020, 11:56 am
Bluelightspecial wrote: September 7th, 2020, 1:50 am
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"
I've been to lots of Vons throughout SoCal as well as Las Vegas. I've come across more than a few small, lousy, stores that may have lifestyle interiors but are generally in poor condition and have lousy execution and are poorly staffed. Generaly speaking Vons Stores just come across as boring and bland- nothing inspiring about them at all. They don't do anything particularly well. They are simply a lousy chain.

I think Vons knew what it was doing (before Safeway bought it out) and that was why they came up with Pavilions in the first place. There was no "wow" factor to the standard Vons operation, it was a boring and bland operation with very basic stores. Then Safeway comes in, basically dilutes Pavilions into a standard Safeway in the early 00's, then tries to bring it slightly more upscale again in the Lifestyle program, but doesn't get it even close to back to the level it had been at in the mid 90's. Then, Safeway starts to make random Vons Stores into the more "upscale" Lifestyle format with questionable execution, plus you can only do so much to a 40 year old 35k square foot store.

Back to Vons I've been to, which are many, I can cite many examples that stand out as trash operations. For instance, north of Disney in Anaheim, that store is a complete dump despite its lifestyle interior. There is another one south of Disney in Anaheim which is even more of a dump (it has the cheap Lifestyle interior with hanging signs, not even wall lettering). They did manage to close most of the lousy ones around Fresno but they had some real winners around there (you can imagine how bad they were, for Save Mart to put them out of business...). The two near the strip in Las Vegas are also absolutely terrible stores for one reason or another (though the larger non-lifestyle one on Twain, once you get past the not so safe feeling parking lot, is nicer inside than the smaller lifestyle one nearby). Sure, there are some nice Vons out there. For instance one time I went into the La Jolla Vons which was actually quite nice and in good shape with its perimeter execution. I crossed the freeway somewhere around there and ended up at some other Vons which was a smaller older store but looked like a pretty good neighborhood. The whole place smelled like a bathroom or rotten eggs, I don't know how anyone was even shopping in the place, the store looked fine, but the odor... Also that lousy Vons in Sun City- is that thing still open? How about the Santa Maria Vons (the one that is still open... both they had there were quite lousy but Safeway kept the lousier one open). I know they managed to get rid of the dumpy Vons in Lakeside and pawned Los Osos off on Haggen so they have managed to get rid of some crummy stores.

I am sure these stores make money though...

Never been to Taft- but store doesn't look great in photos. Not really any worse looking in photos than a Vons; same typical problems; tiles coming up on the floors, generally dated atmosphere, etc. Where are the other stores left that are in a similar condition to the older smaller Albertsons in Ridgecrest in SoCal Division? The larger Ridgecrest Albertsons is in fine condition (certainly no worse than a typical Lifestyle Vons). Recall the Vons in Ridgecrest went out of business a few years ago. Would not surprise me if the 2 stores in Ridgecrest have the same regional/district management as Bishop and Mammoth Lakes so that may also explain why you were not very impressed with what you saw.
The Sun City (Menifee) Vons is still open. It's a VERY busy store (including the pharmacy). They keep it clean and well stocked. Yes, it needs a remodel BADLY. I don't shop at it very often just for that reason. The tiles on the floor are worn to the point they show the concrete floor under in some areas. It has to be at least 25-30 years since this store has seen a remodel. 1000 new homes are just about to be built (east) across the freeway from it so hopefully it will get one in the near future. An equally or worse Stater Bros a few hundred feet away are the only supermarkets in that area. I know a longtime Vons/Pavilions employee who recently transferred to that location and she's very happy with the staff there who are all very well trained.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by klkla »

steps wrote: September 8th, 2020, 10:12 pmI can attest to this. When I worked at Pavilions in Weho in the early 2000's, service was considered "world class" by corporate. We we literally had service classes every few weeks or so to make sure we kept that "world class" service.

We were required to help customers even out of our departments. Service deli at my store was busy from open to close, I can't tell you how many times we would have to make salads, fried and baked chicken throughout the day, it was exhausting.
That was the during the Peter Burd era. I give him credit for improving customer service during that time for the entire company. He was also the architect of the Lifestyle format which worked well in the higher income areas but was not successful in low income areas (unless there was no competition). He was also in charge during the acquisitions of Randall's/Tom Thumb, Dominick's and Genuardi's. We all no how that worked out.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

CalItalian wrote: September 9th, 2020, 11:00 am Vons and Albertsons are outpacing Ralphs in sales gains in SoCal. I have no idea what you're talking about "trash". Vons/Albertsons has been much more aggressive on sales during the coronavirus than Kroger's Ralphs. Kroger has lost its way with so many idiotic ideas from recently backing off aggressive sales, delivery/pickup options different from store to store location that are so confusing to their scan, bag, go initiative that was a complete failure. Most anything Kroger introduces into Ralphs is a complete failure while Albertsons/Vons have been focused on retaining new and infrequent customers...and it's working.
Okay- it was harsh for me to describe the entire banner as "trash" - but I have not had great experiences with Vons over the years. It is pretty much always indifferent at best, often worse. And my experiences with their bakery/deli quality are terrible and I know it is all store prep issues since they are on the same programs as NorCal Safeway where I have had the same items of excellent quality.

Not real surprised about Ralphs. Kroger corporate's best function is at running a private label program and some centralized buying on commodity food items; they need to leave marketing, most fresh buying, and merchandising to the divisions. Oops, they "early retired" or transferred out almost everyone who had roots with the individual divisions and who knew the little things that made the divisions tick. Kroger does still have a long term Smiths person, running Smiths... but most of the divisions, that is not the case. Anyway, let's see who keeps the new customers who showed up during the pandemic. My money is on Stater and Wal Mart.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by Bluelightspecial »

I have no doubt that you would be correct in saying some Vons/Albertsons Socal stores are trash. However having lived in the Sacramento area in the last few years I would argue that many were no worse than Northern California stores.....especially in the central valley area. However while there are some terrible stores, they aren't all terrible. The San Diego Vons/Albertson stores are definitely not "trash"

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

Bluelightspecial wrote: September 9th, 2020, 11:18 pm I have no doubt that you would be correct in saying some Vons/Albertsons Socal stores are trash. However having lived in the Sacramento area in the last few years I would argue that many were no worse than Northern California stores.....especially in the central valley area. However while there are some terrible stores, they aren't all terrible. The San Diego Vons/Albertson stores are definitely not "trash"
I would agree that some of the issues I have seen at Vons, I also used to see at NorCal Safeway. But I have never bought inedible stuff from NorCal Safeway bakery/deli like I have from Vons, and rarely saw empty produce tables at NorCal Safeways like I've seen at Vons over the years. I just get a real "we don't care" type of attitude in the Vons Stores. I get it from how the departments look and how the employees act. The Albertsons (the few that are still open) do not seem to have that kind of attitude... the departments look like someone actually cares.

NorCal has some historical issues with service/line length (this has improved...) but the one thing I find with NorCal Safeway is since they run pretty good volume stores they do quite well with product freshness especially around the bay area/Sacramento (not as good with this up here in NV or in the rural stores that are lower volume operations). Some of the inner Sacramento Safeways seem to be kind of messy but they still put out a lot of fresh product and seem to rotate it well, and they run particularly solid operations out around Roseville, Folsom, Davis, etc.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by veteran+ »

klkla wrote: September 9th, 2020, 12:56 pm
steps wrote: September 8th, 2020, 10:12 pmI can attest to this. When I worked at Pavilions in Weho in the early 2000's, service was considered "world class" by corporate. We we literally had service classes every few weeks or so to make sure we kept that "world class" service.

We were required to help customers even out of our departments. Service deli at my store was busy from open to close, I can't tell you how many times we would have to make salads, fried and baked chicken throughout the day, it was exhausting.
That was the during the Peter Burd era. I give him credit for improving customer service during that time for the entire company. He was also the architect of the Lifestyle format which worked well in the higher income areas but was not successful in low income areas (unless there was no competition). He was also in charge during the acquisitions of Randall's/Tom Thumb, Dominick's and Genuardi's. We all no how that worked out.
And.......he was ruthless with the management team below him. The highest attrition rate of Store Managers and District Managers in the history of the company (including LOAs and actually nervous breakdowns).

LOL

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

ACI should expand the Pavilions brand in San Diego and convert the Vons stores in Mission Hills and La Jolla (Pearl & Girard) to Pavilions.
The La Jolla Vons was built in 1998, replacing an old Safeway Marina, getting Lifestyle around 2005.
The Mission Hills/Hillcrest Vons was redeveloped from an old 50's Safeway in 2013.
Solana Beach, La Costa, and Rancho Bernardo could also support a Pavilions, but those Vons were recently remodeled.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by Bluelightspecial »

Before Safeway bought Vons back in the 90's, Vons was planning to expand Pavilions into San Diego including most of the stores you listed. When Safeway came in they nixed the expansion.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by storewanderer »

Bluelightspecial wrote: September 10th, 2020, 10:19 pm Before Safeway bought Vons back in the 90's, Vons was planning to expand Pavilions into San Diego including most of the stores you listed. When Safeway came in they nixed the expansion.
There was a store on I think Balboa in San Diego that was built as a Pavilions but then opened as a Lucky and operated as a Lucky (largely with Pavilions layout but with Lucky decor... so there was nothing upscale about it) until Supervalu replaced it with a new store. That was a late new store for Supervalu (it had the interior after the Premium Fresh and Healthy interior) and after its brief time as Haggen ended up going to Ranch 99.

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Re: Pavilions?

Post by JimKarras »

The Vons in La Mesa used to be a Gemco and once had a Panda Express inside. This store in the late 90s looked similar to the layout of a Pavilions of the day.

I think the area would be good for a conversation of this store to a Pavilions.

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