Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

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retailfanmitchell019
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

Alpha8472 wrote: April 1st, 2019, 1:01 am In the 90s, I once went to a Petrini's or Lunardi's that did not have fluorescent lights on the ceiling. It was very dark and the store had a green glow from ambient lighting. I found it to be very soothing.
Petrini's was owned by Quebec-based Provigo Corp in the 1990's. Sobeys actually owned a 25% interest in Provigo at the time. Sobeys also had a 25% interest in Hannaford (which they later sold to Delhaize), and a 9% interest in Nash Finch.
https://digital.library.mcgill.ca/hrcor ... 636780.pdf
storewanderer wrote: July 6th, 2021, 11:50 pm They might get decor right but they have some pretty serious other issues with how they have run Canada Safeway (into the ground). Their perimeters, private label program, pricing, and store cleanliness are all way behind what Safeway Canada did before Sobeys bought them out. And their FreshCo concept is terrible in comparison to the Loblaw No Frills concept.

I find it interesting after they closed or converted so many Safeways to FreshCo that they appear to be trying to revive Safeway. They probably needed to do that instead of convert so many stores to FreshCo- even stores that were high traffic Safeways they converted around Vancouver, it was a very odd move. The FreshCo is a franchise operation with an "operator" (like Grocery Outlet) not union and uses a fraction of the space and staff that the Safeways used.
Could this Safeway revival be a step towards selling the stores back to Albertsons? That, or Albertsons should at least buy a small interest in Sobeys to help them fix the Safeway stores.
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by storewanderer »

retailfanmitchell019 wrote: July 8th, 2021, 11:32 am
Could this Safeway revival be a step towards selling the stores back to Albertsons? That, or Albertsons should at least buy a small interest in Sobeys to help them fix the Safeway stores.
They have closed too many stores to "fix" it. Many stores that performed very well but they just decided to close and convert to FreshCo for some reason. Loblaw is cleaning up in the mean time and will keep cleaning up.
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

storewanderer wrote: July 8th, 2021, 10:40 pm
They have closed too many stores to "fix" it. Many stores that performed very well but they just decided to close and convert to FreshCo for some reason. Loblaw is cleaning up in the mean time and will keep cleaning up.
FreshCo reminds me of Smart & Final Extra in a way. Both have downgraded stores from Albertsons/Safeway. Both formats have higher prices than the competition. Overwaitea (Save-On-Foods) might want to buy some of Sobeys Western Canada operations in a few years. That, or Metro will buy them (they only have stores in Ontario/Quebec).
I agree that Loblaws is the superior big chain. Looking at pictures online, (I haven't been to Canada yet, but have talked about traveling and even moving up there) their City Market stores remind me of a Pavilions, but nicer.
Walmart does inferior, but OK business in Canada compared to their US stores.

What do you think of Sobeys owning interests in some American chains at one time?
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by Romr123 »

Loblaw's does an amazingly good job in urban and suburban locations, has a pretty credible hypermarket concept (Canadian Superstore), ditto drug (Shoppers') and they've got the franchise model which they have proved out in lower-end urban and rural locations. I struggle to think who in the US does as broad a slice of the business as well--perhaps a HyVee/Meijer hybrid?
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by storewanderer »

Loblaw is a pretty impressive merchandiser and operator. Loblaw also supplies some independent stores (not No Frills, full line independents). They also have the Real Canadian Wholesale Store which is like a restaurant supply concept. The amount of synergy I see across the Loblaw formats is the most impressive thing.

One business Loblaw got out of- the gas bar (as they call it in Canada) business. They sold their gas pumps in the store parking lots off to a c-store operator.

Sobey's I guess may be better in other parts of Canada- all I've seen of them is Thrifty Foods (total joke- looks nice enough but crummy perimeter and terrible pricing all around), then the Safeways that they basically ruined and the FreshCo which is also not good.

The old American Stores was closest to Loblaw- in that they had legitimate conventional grocery, legitimate combination food/drug, and a strong freestanding drug format.
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by klkla »

Alpha8472 wrote: April 1st, 2019, 1:01 amIn the 90s, I once went to a Petrini's or Lunardi's that did not have fluorescent lights on the ceiling. It was very dark and the store had a green glow from ambient lighting. I found it to be very soothing.
In the late 70's and early 80's recessed incandescent lighting was popular on new-build supermarkets that gave the effect you are talking about. You can see an example here from an Alpha Beta. But, they installed fluorescent strips around the perimeter to prevent that dark feeling.

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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

That's when supermarkets had character unlike the bland environments you have today that are the norm. It was a much more inviting and relaxed atmosphere.
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by Romr123 »

Agreed about Loblaw in the US...when they consolidated to St. Louis and New Orleans, they were very credible competitors in each place. They only put Superstore in New Orleans, and had no single strong competitor. St. Louis never got Superstore, but they had a couple extremely strong upscale competitors (Schnucks/Dierbergs) and a middling competitor (Shop & Save) so they put together a couple well-localized new-builds (carbon-copies of a one of their best Toronto stores)in St. Louis in the early 90s which did very well until they exited completely.
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Re: Safeway (Canada) and Sobeys try dimming lights

Post by Super S »

klkla wrote: July 10th, 2021, 11:45 pm
Alpha8472 wrote: April 1st, 2019, 1:01 amIn the 90s, I once went to a Petrini's or Lunardi's that did not have fluorescent lights on the ceiling. It was very dark and the store had a green glow from ambient lighting. I found it to be very soothing.
In the late 70's and early 80's recessed incandescent lighting was popular on new-build supermarkets that gave the effect you are talking about. You can see an example here from an Alpha Beta. But, they installed fluorescent strips around the perimeter to prevent that dark feeling.

It was more likely mercury vapor lighting in that picture, which was popular for a while in the late 70s and early 80s. Many stores had such fixtures similar to that picture, including some discount stores as well as department stores such as JCPenney and Montgomery Ward. The lights were bright when new, but as they aged would shift to a greenish, or sometimes even reddish, color in some cases and would gradually grow dim at varying rates, resulting in uneven lighting, but often did not burn out completely. They often were also energy hogs and it was common to see these replaced later on with conventional fluorescent fixtures. There was a resurgence of sorts when open ceilings and the "warehouse" look was getting popular, but, for the same reasons, many of these fixtures have been replaced with fluorescent, and more recently LED fixtures.
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