Crucial times for Shoppers

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BatteryMill
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill »

buckguy wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 12:09 pm My impression of St. Mary's is that it's growing but that the incomes are pretty disparate, depending on the town. The economy depends a lot on a Navy base and regional tourism, as well as retirees. Retired people, even if they're well-off, tend to be price conscious and if you add-in people in seasonal work like tourism and maritime work, there probably are a lot of price sensitive customers. People with PX privileges on base would make the price sensitive group even larger and there probably few opportunities for a store that seems "expensive". Giant has several stores in that area and might be the store for people who are "better off". The population isn't large enough for a true high end store. Weis might have the same struggles with people who shop based largely on price, but they are used to operating in small markets with Walmart.

UNFI has sent such mixed signals with these stores--perhaps it was landlords who couldn't land Giant or Safeway and UNFI saw population growth, relatively low rents for the region without really spending time in the communities.
Could be a good calling sign for Aldi, Lidl, and also in this board, Grocery Outlet to swoop in.
pseudo3d wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 7:24 pm Looking at Shoppers (short of them announcing that they'd sell off large chunks of the remaining chain) would not be a good way to judge UNFI's plans. It would be Cub Foods. If they suddenly announced that they'd do away with the Cub Foods franchise program that'd be a sign that they're going to make a move on selling it (and if they were thinking that Albertsons and Kroger would not merge and instead one of them to pounce on it, the time to start working on Cub would be now). At that point, it would be time to start worrying about Shoppers again.
Being that this is a post-pandemic world, there certainly are differences as to how we would observe Shoppers. Of course if stores keep on closing with little openings to even the score, I believe there might be worries there too.
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer »

pseudo3d wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 7:24 pm

Looking at Shoppers (short of them announcing that they'd sell off large chunks of the remaining chain) would not be a good way to judge UNFI's plans. It would be Cub Foods. If they suddenly announced that they'd do away with the Cub Foods franchise program that'd be a sign that they're going to make a move on selling it (and if they were thinking that Albertsons and Kroger would not merge and instead one of them to pounce on it, the time to start working on Cub would be now). At that point, it would be time to start worrying about Shoppers again.
I don't think they can "do away" with the Cub franchise program. Jerry's the main franchisee at this point is doing well with their stores and they have contracts for specified time periods to keep this program going. If the franchisees were performing poorly and closed then of course that is one way to "do away" with the franchise program.

My guess is they need Shoppers to keep some warehouse viable. Maybe they found some other wholesale customers so they are willing to close a few Shoppers since they don't care about that volume anymore.
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by pseudo3d »

storewanderer wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 11:37 pm
pseudo3d wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 7:24 pm

Looking at Shoppers (short of them announcing that they'd sell off large chunks of the remaining chain) would not be a good way to judge UNFI's plans. It would be Cub Foods. If they suddenly announced that they'd do away with the Cub Foods franchise program that'd be a sign that they're going to make a move on selling it (and if they were thinking that Albertsons and Kroger would not merge and instead one of them to pounce on it, the time to start working on Cub would be now). At that point, it would be time to start worrying about Shoppers again.
I don't think they can "do away" with the Cub franchise program. Jerry's the main franchisee at this point is doing well with their stores and they have contracts for specified time periods to keep this program going. If the franchisees were performing poorly and closed then of course that is one way to "do away" with the franchise program.

My guess is they need Shoppers to keep some warehouse viable. Maybe they found some other wholesale customers so they are willing to close a few Shoppers since they don't care about that volume anymore.
They definitely couldn't run in and announce "party's over", but would have to buy back the license or the company entirely. (Buying back the company entirely would come with a lone Jerry's Foods in Sanibel, Florida and some Do It Best hardware stores).
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BillyGr »

pseudo3d wrote: April 4th, 2024, 2:35 pm They definitely couldn't run in and announce "party's over", but would have to buy back the license or the company entirely. (Buying back the company entirely would come with a lone Jerry's Foods in Sanibel, Florida and some Do It Best hardware stores).
Or possibly go the other way and sell the branding and whatever else to the franchisee (much like a food chain like Roy Rogers did, where their biggest franchisee bought the brand outright and became the new franchisor).
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by storewanderer »

pseudo3d wrote: April 4th, 2024, 2:35 pm
storewanderer wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 11:37 pm
pseudo3d wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 7:24 pm

Looking at Shoppers (short of them announcing that they'd sell off large chunks of the remaining chain) would not be a good way to judge UNFI's plans. It would be Cub Foods. If they suddenly announced that they'd do away with the Cub Foods franchise program that'd be a sign that they're going to make a move on selling it (and if they were thinking that Albertsons and Kroger would not merge and instead one of them to pounce on it, the time to start working on Cub would be now). At that point, it would be time to start worrying about Shoppers again.
I don't think they can "do away" with the Cub franchise program. Jerry's the main franchisee at this point is doing well with their stores and they have contracts for specified time periods to keep this program going. If the franchisees were performing poorly and closed then of course that is one way to "do away" with the franchise program.

My guess is they need Shoppers to keep some warehouse viable. Maybe they found some other wholesale customers so they are willing to close a few Shoppers since they don't care about that volume anymore.
They definitely couldn't run in and announce "party's over", but would have to buy back the license or the company entirely. (Buying back the company entirely would come with a lone Jerry's Foods in Sanibel, Florida and some Do It Best hardware stores).
I don't see them buying back Jerry's.

Cub is in a strange spot in general. I think the Jerry's units may perform better than some of the corporate ones.
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by mjhale »

Does anyone know how the Shoppers units outside the ones closing in southern Maryland are doing? It seems like Shoppers has pared back to areas that are more blue collar as well as ones that don't have a lot of other competition. I have been in a few of the PG County locations in the past couple of years and they seem well shopped. I can concur with the comments from the southern Maryland folks about price and quality. Pricing seems high at the Shoppers locations I have been in and there do not seem to be a lot of "hot" promotions to compensate. Produce quality especially was where I saw issues. Rotten product still on the shelves even with employees actively stocking in the department. Deli, meat and frozen were fine. Dairy had a good bit of marked down product. Dairy pricing was especially high. Store brand lactose free milk, orange juice and cheeses had regular retails that were higher than the brand names at the Safeway nearest me. They were running a decent sale on name brand cheese and OJ to bring it below the store brand price. Perhaps these southern Maryland conversions were "dead" from the start and putting a name like Shoppers on them couldn't do anything to help. Giant and and Safeway having good coverage already in the area might have limited the options for selling the stores so they went with a brand they already had access to. If the rest of Shoppers is on life support, I'd be worried about the whole operation. However, based on the stores I've been in, it seems like poor operation, not lack of customers is the problem.
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Re: Crucial times for Shoppers

Post by BatteryMill »

Interestingly to note, of the four locations (re)opened by Shoppers in Southern Maryland last year, there is no word on the Waldorf location shuttering. Perhaps it met profitability measures (being in a larger suburban area) or has generally better reviews than the St. Mary's County bunch that are closing.
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