California. No non-grocery posts.
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storewanderer wrote: ↑November 8th, 2020, 1:03 pm
A similar new build Safeway, I mean "Pavilions," was built out in Woodland Hills in what I'd call a high traffic location but higher competition location around the same time and ultimately closed.
They broke the cardinal rule of supermarket construction in suburban areas of Los Angeles: Always build on streets with a freeway exit. The store sat directly between the Winnetka and Tampa exits of the 101 Freeway.
The Ralphs on Winnetka has been expanded and remodeled many times. It's a very high volume store. Very few people would drive out of their way to go to Pavilions when Ralphs was so much easier.
The Tampa exit doesn't have any major shopping centers and is one of the lowest traffic sections on Ventura Blvd. Reseda is the next exit after that and is the busier of the three and has a Gelson's, Vons and Whole Foods.
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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 They can save the Vons banner for smaller, run down, outdated stores which is what the most productive Vons Stores are- captive audience locatons that will tolerate long lines, high prices, and a dirty outdated store.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 live in Fresno and the Vons here are a mess. Prior to 2014-2015 we had the same ads and were serviced from the Vons distribution center down in LA then they switched over to getting shipments from Safeway up in Tracy and the weekly ad is a mess it’s basically a Safeway ad with Vons slapped on there. The bags and carts say Safeway on them even some of the employees wear Safeway tags it’s a big mess lol . I don’t understand why they gave up the Vons banner in Fresno to Safeway it just makes things down here look very sloppy and unprofessional. It would have made more sense to just keep it as it was but I don’t know what corporate is trying achieve
Last edited by Dodgers2020
on November 17th, 2020, 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CalItalian wrote: ↑September 9th, 2020, 11:36 am
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.
Vons is nothing special but they blow Savemart out the water was very suprised when a couple Vons locations shut down in Fresno back in 2015