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.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 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.