Crucial times for Shoppers

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BatteryMill
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill » September 27th, 2018, 7:04 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:55 pm
I don't think that Shoppers will be sold whole. My guess is that the better half will split between Safeway, Weis, Giant, and a few independents, with the other half closing altogether. (I can't imagine Publix going for them, not if they turned down Farm Fresh).
I could assume that as well, why not. Then again overall, it's really hard to put together the case for Shoppers. Only time will tell...
If any independents take in this feeding frenzy, as in the case of Farm Fresh could there be someone trying to hold on to the Shoppers name? Interestingly Farm Fresh is now split between two owners in Richmond and in Norfolk.
Also Publix, have they made a push into Norfolk? I don't know if they would have gone there with just Farm Fresh stores.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » September 27th, 2018, 10:08 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:55 pm
I don't think that Shoppers will be sold whole. My guess is that the better half will split between Safeway, Weis, Giant, and a few independents, with the other half closing altogether. (I can't imagine Publix going for them, not if they turned down Farm Fresh).
Giant and Weis may be able to do okay with the Shoppers Stores as they seem to skew a little toward mid market on price/quality which is really where Shoppers is. I really do not see Safeway with its higher market pricing and mid market quality/mix doing well with these stores. Nor do I see Harris Teeter being a good potential suitor for the stores with its higher pricing and I do not think the stores are in the neighborhoods Harris Teeter has been targeting in that region. Kroger format would be a good fit but I do not see them doing a co-exist with Harris Teeter set up after what they just did in RDU, unfortunately.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d » September 28th, 2018, 4:14 am

BatteryMill wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 7:04 pm
I could assume that as well, why not. Then again overall, it's really hard to put together the case for Shoppers. Only time will tell...
If any independents take in this feeding frenzy, as in the case of Farm Fresh could there be someone trying to hold on to the Shoppers name? Interestingly Farm Fresh is now split between two owners in Richmond and in Norfolk.
Essentially Farm Fresh is a franchised name, and uses SuperValu as a supplier. If they broke from SuperValu, then they would probably lose it (or it might end up becoming County Market). I think part of the reason why Publix passed on Farm Fresh is probably the logistics of acquiring even more stores in a new area, and they may be taking a break on newer stores for now (especially if the Martin's stores were underperforming).

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by buckguy » September 29th, 2018, 6:06 am

I can't beleive people have been debating the ultimate demise of Shoppers. No one is going to want their uneven collection of locations. A few that are large enough and well located enough may go to established chains, but the destiny for most of them is ethnic markets or other retail. Weis might be interested in some in the Baltimore area that Giant and Safeway skip, but they don't have the capital to buy everything and they never gained traction in the DC area.

Publix wouldn't want the geography, nor would Harris Teeter. Shopper's DC niche was young families with children and they did well with this group even in relatively well-off places like Rockville. Now Costco captures that group and they really have no profitable niche for themselves.

Unless they have really low volume stores, a relatively small operator is very likely to have more market share/store---DC has always had small players like Acme and Food Fair that accomplished this in the old days, without having particularly strong locations or identities. There really isn't much difference between Safeway and Giant in pricing (both are heavily promotional and their everyday prices, overall, are pretty similar even if they differ a bit by product line). Pre-Ahold, Giant had the edge in bakery/deli and although they still have a small edge here, it really depends on the item; neither was ever particularly good for produce. But, in the end, neither is going to want Shopper's.

When Wegman's opens in DC, it will be interesting to see what hapens to HT and Whole Foods. That will be more interesting than the ineveitable disappearnce of Shopper's.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » September 29th, 2018, 8:52 am

buckguy wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 6:06 am
I can't beleive people have been debating the ultimate demise of Shoppers. No one is going to want their uneven collection of locations. A few that are large enough and well located enough may go to established chains, but the destiny for most of them is ethnic markets or other retail. Weis might be interested in some in the Baltimore area that Giant and Safeway skip, but they don't have the capital to buy everything and they never gained traction in the DC area.

Publix wouldn't want the geography, nor would Harris Teeter. Shopper's DC niche was young families with children and they did well with this group even in relatively well-off places like Rockville. Now Costco captures that group and they really have no profitable niche for themselves.

Unless they have really low volume stores, a relatively small operator is very likely to have more market share/store---DC has always had small players like Acme and Food Fair that accomplished this in the old days, without having particularly strong locations or identities. There really isn't much difference between Safeway and Giant in pricing (both are heavily promotional and their everyday prices, overall, are pretty similar even if they differ a bit by product line). Pre-Ahold, Giant had the edge in bakery/deli and although they still have a small edge here, it really depends on the item; neither was ever particularly good for produce. But, in the end, neither is going to want Shopper's.

When Wegman's opens in DC, it will be interesting to see what hapens to HT and Whole Foods. That will be more interesting than the ineveitable disappearnce of Shopper's.
When Wegman's opens in DC, it is not going to be good news for HT (they are going to really have to step things up to the level of what they operate in the Carolinas, even then it won't be easy) or for Safeway since Wegman's is actually quite strong on price outside perimeter, and on the perimeter at Wegman's you do get what you pay for. What will happen is these other stores will lose basket shops/weekend shops to Wegman's and the other stores will remain for the quick trip and fill in trip type visits that are typically low dollar and not as price sensitive, which plays well to their high price roots. Giant still seems to skew more toward a middle or lower middle class customer and I am not sure how interested that customer will be in Wegman's. A properly executed Safeway perimeter is far higher quality than what Giant offers. The problem is Safeway's execution is very mixed between location or by day and as a result what they put out there does not necessarily come off as better than Giant even though it should. I expect Safeway will keep shrinking and Giant will hold on. Somehow Whole Foods seems... very resilient to competition in large metro areas...

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by mjhale » September 30th, 2018, 8:04 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 10:01 pm
Shop Rite is probably the right buyer... I think they would continue the stores similar to Shoppers in mix/format/product quality (very average and mid market), and to some degree sharpen them up on pricing.
If ShopRite were to make a play for some or all of Shoppers do you think it would be a corporate purchase or would they encourage some of their current members to buy any Shoppers stores that are up for sale? There are ShopRite stores in Baltimore and Aspen Hill. Would those members be interested in taking on more stores especially in the DC suburbs? The DC area really does not have any independent grocers of any scale since Magruders closed. I've always been interested in seeing ShopRite make a play in the DC market. I think they are the closest we will get to having independents in the DC grocery arena. Something tells me in the right location a high volume store like ShopRite would do well. Their PriceRite discount stores seem to be doing good where they have opened.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer » September 30th, 2018, 8:38 pm

mjhale wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 8:04 pm
storewanderer wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 10:01 pm
Shop Rite is probably the right buyer... I think they would continue the stores similar to Shoppers in mix/format/product quality (very average and mid market), and to some degree sharpen them up on pricing.
If ShopRite were to make a play for some or all of Shoppers do you think it would be a corporate purchase or would they encourage some of their current members to buy any Shoppers stores that are up for sale? There are ShopRite stores in Baltimore and Aspen Hill. Would those members be interested in taking on more stores especially in the DC suburbs? The DC area really does not have any independent grocers of any scale since Magruders closed. I've always been interested in seeing ShopRite make a play in the DC market. I think they are the closest we will get to having independents in the DC grocery arena. Something tells me in the right location a high volume store like ShopRite would do well. Their PriceRite discount stores seem to be doing good where they have opened.
Not sure on the operator or corporate situation. You also raise a good point about volume, could the stores move up to a volume level that is acceptable to Shop Rite? The Shoppers clearly do not do the volumes of a Giant which is probably more along the lines of what Shop Rite would want...

https://wtop.com/consumer-news/2018/09/ ... r-service/

Meanwhile we have articles like this. Not sure how the ratings were done but Safeway got the lowest ratings and the highest prices. Of course Wegman's with a 94% "superior overall" rating vs. Safeway's 30% "superior overall" rating is easy when you have just a few brand new stores in the market, but the difference should not be that high.

I am also a little curious this article says Safeway pricing is the highest but then says Harris Teeter, Shoppers, and Giant are all about the same on price...?

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by SamSpade » September 30th, 2018, 10:29 pm

Here's the snapshot from consumer's checkbook about number of responses on each store.
I believe the organization itself prices the 155 "brand name products" to determine price disparity.
https://www.checkbook.org/washington-ar ... overallTab

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d » September 30th, 2018, 11:07 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 8:52 am
buckguy wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 6:06 am
I can't beleive people have been debating the ultimate demise of Shoppers. No one is going to want their uneven collection of locations. A few that are large enough and well located enough may go to established chains, but the destiny for most of them is ethnic markets or other retail. Weis might be interested in some in the Baltimore area that Giant and Safeway skip, but they don't have the capital to buy everything and they never gained traction in the DC area.

Publix wouldn't want the geography, nor would Harris Teeter. Shopper's DC niche was young families with children and they did well with this group even in relatively well-off places like Rockville. Now Costco captures that group and they really have no profitable niche for themselves.

Unless they have really low volume stores, a relatively small operator is very likely to have more market share/store---DC has always had small players like Acme and Food Fair that accomplished this in the old days, without having particularly strong locations or identities. There really isn't much difference between Safeway and Giant in pricing (both are heavily promotional and their everyday prices, overall, are pretty similar even if they differ a bit by product line). Pre-Ahold, Giant had the edge in bakery/deli and although they still have a small edge here, it really depends on the item; neither was ever particularly good for produce. But, in the end, neither is going to want Shopper's.

When Wegman's opens in DC, it will be interesting to see what hapens to HT and Whole Foods. That will be more interesting than the ineveitable disappearnce of Shopper's.
When Wegman's opens in DC, it is not going to be good news for HT (they are going to really have to step things up to the level of what they operate in the Carolinas, even then it won't be easy) or for Safeway since Wegman's is actually quite strong on price outside perimeter, and on the perimeter at Wegman's you do get what you pay for. What will happen is these other stores will lose basket shops/weekend shops to Wegman's and the other stores will remain for the quick trip and fill in trip type visits that are typically low dollar and not as price sensitive, which plays well to their high price roots. Giant still seems to skew more toward a middle or lower middle class customer and I am not sure how interested that customer will be in Wegman's. A properly executed Safeway perimeter is far higher quality than what Giant offers. The problem is Safeway's execution is very mixed between location or by day and as a result what they put out there does not necessarily come off as better than Giant even though it should. I expect Safeway will keep shrinking and Giant will hold on. Somehow Whole Foods seems... very resilient to competition in large metro areas...
From what I've seen, the Safeways do better in the inner (core) Washington DC area and do poorer in the suburbs where Giant is, but Giant doesn't have the inner-city stores like Safeway does, and Shoppers only has suburban stores.

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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BillyGr » October 1st, 2018, 3:50 pm

mjhale wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 8:04 pm
If ShopRite were to make a play for some or all of Shoppers do you think it would be a corporate purchase or would they encourage some of their current members to buy any Shoppers stores that are up for sale? There are ShopRite stores in Baltimore and Aspen Hill. Would those members be interested in taking on more stores especially in the DC suburbs?
Good question. There look to be a dozen ShopRite stores in MD. I know a good number of those were one independent chain that affiliated with ShopRite a few years back (Klein's), but then the next one I heard of opening (Glen Burnie) was done by one of their members who had stores in, I think, PA.

Of course, they do also have corporate owned stores - the biggest chunk up here in NY, a former member that went bankrupt and they bought the stores out to keep them part of the cooperative, but they have added additional stores (though in areas that formerly had them under the member but had been closed).

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