Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

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Super S
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Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by Super S »

Last night I was at the Longview Fred Meyer for a regular shopping trip. This store was remodeled in 2018, and as I shopped, I was thinking that it does not seem to be aging well.

The wall colors and the rounded font of the letters were ugly then and are ugly now.

The floors have lost the shine they once had in some places. They claim reduced maintenance with polished concrete, but these do not look like they are being cleaned as they are supposed to, and whatever finish was on these is wearing off in spots. They have looked bad since day one with all of the random patch jobs in the store.

The aisle clutter has really downgraded the appearance and makes the store feel much smaller than it actually is. And there are several spots where there are outlets on the poles in the middle of some aisles with red tape on them, which have been hit by carts many times, and look like they are a safety hazard the way they are set up.

And the lighting has had many issues since the remodel, and this continues. Produce looked especially bad with at least 10-20 of the LED spotlights flickering on and off...I felt like I was at a disco or something. This appears to be a problem anywhere in the store where there are spotlights as I see spots along the wall where they are flickering, as well as in the clothing area. The main lighting has some of the LED tubes turned upward into the reflectors for some reason, making areas of the store look darker. And the outside/entryway lighting has gotten a little attention. They have replaced some bulbs with LED, but are waiting until they are completely out as there is a mixture of LED and mercury vapor in the entryways as well as outside. This results into some that are very dim, but are not being replaced because they still light up.

There are also several areas in the center store, where they kept the suspended ceiling, where there are visible leaks, and in a couple spots, black mold on the tiles.

For some reason, they replaced all of the carts in the last few months with bigger ones that have two child seats (similar to Costco). I am not sure what they are going for here. The pricing here has gotten worse over time and I don't see many large families shopping here, and certainly not making large runs like Costco.

I get the impression that Fred Meyer is in a holding pattern until they figure out if the Kroger-Albertsons merger will happen, as the store is really giving off a neglected vibe right now. I am not so sure Kroger completely understands the Fred Meyer concept.

Meanwhile, the Walmart down the road just finished a remodel. While I do not like their grocery department (prices not all that good and mixed quality, as well as no bags of any kind, including reusable, available much of the time) I will say that the store's presentation is better. I never thought I would say that Walmart looks nicer than Fred Meyer, but in this case it does.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by ClownLoach »

Super S wrote: May 21st, 2024, 10:13 am Last night I was at the Longview Fred Meyer for a regular shopping trip. This store was remodeled in 2018, and as I shopped, I was thinking that it does not seem to be aging well.

The wall colors and the rounded font of the letters were ugly then and are ugly now.

The floors have lost the shine they once had in some places. They claim reduced maintenance with polished concrete, but these do not look like they are being cleaned as they are supposed to, and whatever finish was on these is wearing off in spots. They have looked bad since day one with all of the random patch jobs in the store.

The aisle clutter has really downgraded the appearance and makes the store feel much smaller than it actually is. And there are several spots where there are outlets on the poles in the middle of some aisles with red tape on them, which have been hit by carts many times, and look like they are a safety hazard the way they are set up.

And the lighting has had many issues since the remodel, and this continues. Produce looked especially bad with at least 10-20 of the LED spotlights flickering on and off...I felt like I was at a disco or something. This appears to be a problem anywhere in the store where there are spotlights as I see spots along the wall where they are flickering, as well as in the clothing area. The main lighting has some of the LED tubes turned upward into the reflectors for some reason, making areas of the store look darker. And the outside/entryway lighting has gotten a little attention. They have replaced some bulbs with LED, but are waiting until they are completely out as there is a mixture of LED and mercury vapor in the entryways as well as outside. This results into some that are very dim, but are not being replaced because they still light up.

There are also several areas in the center store, where they kept the suspended ceiling, where there are visible leaks, and in a couple spots, black mold on the tiles.

For some reason, they replaced all of the carts in the last few months with bigger ones that have two child seats (similar to Costco). I am not sure what they are going for here. The pricing here has gotten worse over time and I don't see many large families shopping here, and certainly not making large runs like Costco.

I get the impression that Fred Meyer is in a holding pattern until they figure out if the Kroger-Albertsons merger will happen, as the store is really giving off a neglected vibe right now. I am not so sure Kroger completely understands the Fred Meyer concept.

Meanwhile, the Walmart down the road just finished a remodel. While I do not like their grocery department (prices not all that good and mixed quality, as well as no bags of any kind, including reusable, available much of the time) I will say that the store's presentation is better. I never thought I would say that Walmart looks nicer than Fred Meyer, but in this case it does.
For the lighting there are two issues you're seeing. First is probably a store maintenance worker who doesn't understand the difference between the LED tubes and florescent tubes. LED are usually directional on older bulbs. Sounds like someone just tried changing them out and was unaware of the importance of direction in both ways. The bulbs sometimes have to be facing a certain direction as well depending on if or how the florescent fixture was rewired if they took the ballast out. The newer LED retrofit bulbs just go straight in, no direction, no ballast change but they won't work if the ballast was removed. So there are just a lot of different types of replacement LED tubes and lots of compatability issues if someone thinks they can just grab whichever one is cheapest at Home Depot.

For the flickering lights, there is obviously a wiring problem. LED is not a solid light, but rather a flashing light that blinks so many times per second that the human eye cannot discern that it is not solidly lit. But as a result if there is a wiring problem like a short then they will flash or flicker much worse than an incandescent spotlight or even compact florescent replacement. You see this issue popping up in old homes that have had incandescent light bulbs for a hundred years, but they replace with a modern LED bulb and now it blinks, strobes, etc. because LED is so sensitive to the interference from short circuits, bad wires etc.

It sounds like Kroger in general does not have a good team of maintenance vendors in that market. I will also remind everyone that some of the absolute worst Safeway lighting retrofits I've ever seen were in the same part of Washington. Strip lights mounted over can lights, track lights etc. So maybe there is a big vendor everyone uses there that is crappy.

Sounds like floor conversion is similar problems up there with finding quality vendors. The reality is there should not be a coating needed if the floor is converted properly. That process takes longer and requires additional passes by the diamond cutting machines. The cheap way is to just grind it off over a few nights and apply a coating to add shine that isn't there, but then you basically are back to the same or worse chemical maintenance needed similar to stripping and resealing linoleum.

I am not sure what vendor Walmart is using for their linoleum removals and polished concrete work, but they are probably the best I have ever seen. I have yet to walk into a store where the process appears to be underway. I see zero glue lines in most cases and they do a good job of applying a uniform color stain to hide old trenching and such. I am surprised they don't use the same vendors to maintain their Sam's Club stores which usually have below average condition floors when compared to Costco who has the diamond grinding done every 5 years to renew the finish. The worst I've seen lately was actually that new format Albertsons last night with patches that had rough texture and zero polish or seal. Felt like someone mixed up some quick dry concrete in a bucket and dumped it in the hole.

I've mentioned that my 2nd closest Walmart is putting on a show that far surpasses anything I've seen in recent memory from any superstore format. Every time I walk in I think they did a dog and pony show for visiting executives, but then I realize it's really run that way every day. I can't imagine where they get the payroll for what they do.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by Super S »

ClownLoach wrote: May 21st, 2024, 10:25 am
For the lighting there are two issues you're seeing. First is probably a store maintenance worker who doesn't understand the difference between the LED tubes and florescent tubes. LED are usually directional on older bulbs. Sounds like someone just tried changing them out and was unaware of the importance of direction in both ways. The bulbs sometimes have to be facing a certain direction as well depending on if or how the florescent fixture was rewired if they took the ballast out. The newer LED retrofit bulbs just go straight in, no direction, no ballast change but they won't work if the ballast was removed. So there are just a lot of different types of replacement LED tubes and lots of compatability issues if someone thinks they can just grab whichever one is cheapest at Home Depot.

For the flickering lights, there is obviously a wiring problem. LED is not a solid light, but rather a flashing light that blinks so many times per second that the human eye cannot discern that it is not solidly lit. But as a result if there is a wiring problem like a short then they will flash or flicker much worse than an incandescent spotlight or even compact florescent replacement. You see this issue popping up in old homes that have had incandescent light bulbs for a hundred years, but they replace with a modern LED bulb and now it blinks, strobes, etc. because LED is so sensitive to the interference from short circuits, bad wires etc.

It sounds like Kroger in general does not have a good team of maintenance vendors in that market. I will also remind everyone that some of the absolute worst Safeway lighting retrofits I've ever seen were in the same part of Washington. Strip lights mounted over can lights, track lights etc. So maybe there is a big vendor everyone uses there that is crappy.
The LED tubes were installed during the remodel. I sometimes see random areas in the store where they are faced upward, with the dark side facing downward. I don't think they are actually installing new tubes. This Fred Meyer is unique in that they retained the 8 foot fixtures with reflectors through most of the store, only replacing a handful with the more common 4 foot 6 tube fixtures in one area of the GM side.

The floodlights appear to be a bad batch of LED units with internal circuitry that is failing and they have to replace the whole unit instead of just a bulb. These were also part of the remodel, and a number of smaller units are already mixed in from what I guess were previous replacements. I don't think wiring is the issue here.

I am very familiar with LED lights and how they work. I will say that there is a lot of low quality product out there, and have had better luck with the established brand names such as Philips and GE. Some of the unbranded units last no longer than incandescent bulbs.

As I said, it appears that they are in a holding pattern, and can't really figure out what they are going for with Fred Meyer at this point.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: June 13th, 2024, 8:37 pm

As I said, it appears that they are in a holding pattern, and can't really figure out what they are going for with Fred Meyer at this point.
This is just Kroger in general. Their remodels are not pretty. They are actually terrible. I cannot even believe the remodel they did in Carson City on the Smiths. They spent millions of dollars and three months and the end result is unbelievable how terrible it looks and functions.

I guess Smiths had some common sense when they built stores and they built shelves around the ceiling support posts. This is the first time since this store opened in the 1980's that anyone has tried to move aisles around. Kroger in their I don't know not very detail oriented manner... shifted the shelves around so now there are support poles IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLES obstructing traffic and obstructing 2-3 feet worth of shelf space where products are, in MULTIPLE places.


They cheaped out in the front end didn't remodel any of it and it is a mess and needs some new equipment.

I will not even get started on the floors I cannot believe half of an aisle has new plain white tiles (this is because when they pulled the shelves up there was a bunch of rust... so they HAD to replace half of the tiles on the aisles) and the other half of an aisle has the original 1980s tan floor the store opened with. Then around the perimeter of the store when they remodeled around 2010 they put a new floor around the perimeter- so that they removed about 1/3 of it in this remodel and installed a nice looking vinyl plank type floor (in bakery/deli/produce) but then kept that 2010 remodel floor around the rest of the perimeter (meat/dairy/pharmacy/front end) but did some nice (not) "patch" work on it so now it is a not uniform looking mess. This situation brings down the remodel so seriously for me that as far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have even bothered doing any remodeling at all.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by bryceleinan »

storewanderer wrote: June 13th, 2024, 9:49 pm
Super S wrote: June 13th, 2024, 8:37 pm

As I said, it appears that they are in a holding pattern, and can't really figure out what they are going for with Fred Meyer at this point.
This is just Kroger in general. Their remodels are not pretty. They are actually terrible. I cannot even believe the remodel they did in Carson City on the Smiths. They spent millions of dollars and three months and the end result is unbelievable how terrible it looks and functions.

I guess Smiths had some common sense when they built stores and they built shelves around the ceiling support posts. This is the first time since this store opened in the 1980's that anyone has tried to move aisles around. Kroger in their I don't know not very detail oriented manner... shifted the shelves around so now there are support poles IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLES obstructing traffic and obstructing 2-3 feet worth of shelf space where products are, in MULTIPLE places.


They cheaped out in the front end didn't remodel any of it and it is a mess and needs some new equipment.

I will not even get started on the floors I cannot believe half of an aisle has new plain white tiles (this is because when they pulled the shelves up there was a bunch of rust... so they HAD to replace half of the tiles on the aisles) and the other half of an aisle has the original 1980s tan floor the store opened with. Then around the perimeter of the store when they remodeled around 2010 they put a new floor around the perimeter- so that they removed about 1/3 of it in this remodel and installed a nice looking vinyl plank type floor (in bakery/deli/produce) but then kept that 2010 remodel floor around the rest of the perimeter (meat/dairy/pharmacy/front end) but did some nice (not) "patch" work on it so now it is a not uniform looking mess. This situation brings down the remodel so seriously for me that as far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have even bothered doing any remodeling at all.
I don’t know how many people have been to the Coos Bay Fred Meyer after its partial remodel, but Kroger probably should not have done anything to that store either. They basically got stuck halfway through the remodel because the store is in a flood plain, and any more changes would have triggered flood-proofing the store (basically impossible as it sits). Fred Meyer would have been better off closing the store, demolishing it, and re-building on top of a parking garage. Instead, they did a half-remodel, and made the store a bit more disjointed than it already was, like what they did in Carson City with Smith’s.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by storewanderer »

bryceleinan wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:06 pm
storewanderer wrote: June 13th, 2024, 9:49 pm
Super S wrote: June 13th, 2024, 8:37 pm

As I said, it appears that they are in a holding pattern, and can't really figure out what they are going for with Fred Meyer at this point.
This is just Kroger in general. Their remodels are not pretty. They are actually terrible. I cannot even believe the remodel they did in Carson City on the Smiths. They spent millions of dollars and three months and the end result is unbelievable how terrible it looks and functions.

I guess Smiths had some common sense when they built stores and they built shelves around the ceiling support posts. This is the first time since this store opened in the 1980's that anyone has tried to move aisles around. Kroger in their I don't know not very detail oriented manner... shifted the shelves around so now there are support poles IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLES obstructing traffic and obstructing 2-3 feet worth of shelf space where products are, in MULTIPLE places.


They cheaped out in the front end didn't remodel any of it and it is a mess and needs some new equipment.

I will not even get started on the floors I cannot believe half of an aisle has new plain white tiles (this is because when they pulled the shelves up there was a bunch of rust... so they HAD to replace half of the tiles on the aisles) and the other half of an aisle has the original 1980s tan floor the store opened with. Then around the perimeter of the store when they remodeled around 2010 they put a new floor around the perimeter- so that they removed about 1/3 of it in this remodel and installed a nice looking vinyl plank type floor (in bakery/deli/produce) but then kept that 2010 remodel floor around the rest of the perimeter (meat/dairy/pharmacy/front end) but did some nice (not) "patch" work on it so now it is a not uniform looking mess. This situation brings down the remodel so seriously for me that as far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have even bothered doing any remodeling at all.
I don’t know how many people have been to the Coos Bay Fred Meyer after its partial remodel, but Kroger probably should not have done anything to that store either. They basically got stuck halfway through the remodel because the store is in a flood plain, and any more changes would have triggered flood-proofing the store (basically impossible as it sits). Fred Meyer would have been better off closing the store, demolishing it, and re-building on top of a parking garage. Instead, they did a half-remodel, and made the store a bit more disjointed than it already was, like what they did in Carson City with Smith’s.
I don't think Kroger is good at remodels. They seem to try to cut corners everywhere they can and defer things as long as possible. I get it. I'm pretty cheap about things too. But if I were as cheap as they are and trying to cut corners the way they do in remodels, I'd never take a shower (to save water costs/soap costs) and I'd go around in torn up dirty clothes (to save money on clothes and save money on detergent/laundry machine ware).
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:12 pm
bryceleinan wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:06 pm
storewanderer wrote: June 13th, 2024, 9:49 pm

This is just Kroger in general. Their remodels are not pretty. They are actually terrible. I cannot even believe the remodel they did in Carson City on the Smiths. They spent millions of dollars and three months and the end result is unbelievable how terrible it looks and functions.

I guess Smiths had some common sense when they built stores and they built shelves around the ceiling support posts. This is the first time since this store opened in the 1980's that anyone has tried to move aisles around. Kroger in their I don't know not very detail oriented manner... shifted the shelves around so now there are support poles IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLES obstructing traffic and obstructing 2-3 feet worth of shelf space where products are, in MULTIPLE places.


They cheaped out in the front end didn't remodel any of it and it is a mess and needs some new equipment.

I will not even get started on the floors I cannot believe half of an aisle has new plain white tiles (this is because when they pulled the shelves up there was a bunch of rust... so they HAD to replace half of the tiles on the aisles) and the other half of an aisle has the original 1980s tan floor the store opened with. Then around the perimeter of the store when they remodeled around 2010 they put a new floor around the perimeter- so that they removed about 1/3 of it in this remodel and installed a nice looking vinyl plank type floor (in bakery/deli/produce) but then kept that 2010 remodel floor around the rest of the perimeter (meat/dairy/pharmacy/front end) but did some nice (not) "patch" work on it so now it is a not uniform looking mess. This situation brings down the remodel so seriously for me that as far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have even bothered doing any remodeling at all.
I don’t know how many people have been to the Coos Bay Fred Meyer after its partial remodel, but Kroger probably should not have done anything to that store either. They basically got stuck halfway through the remodel because the store is in a flood plain, and any more changes would have triggered flood-proofing the store (basically impossible as it sits). Fred Meyer would have been better off closing the store, demolishing it, and re-building on top of a parking garage. Instead, they did a half-remodel, and made the store a bit more disjointed than it already was, like what they did in Carson City with Smith’s.
I don't think Kroger is good at remodels. They seem to try to cut corners everywhere they can and defer things as long as possible. I get it. I'm pretty cheap about things too. But if I were as cheap as they are and trying to cut corners the way they do in remodels, I'd never take a shower (to save water costs/soap costs) and I'd go around in torn up dirty clothes (to save money on clothes and save money on detergent/laundry machine ware).
Kroger is not good with any kind of maintenance or remodeling. This is why they have these many remodels where now there are spotlights and reflectors aiming at graphics that are no longer present, horrible mismatched linoleum that I haven't seen the likes of since the Lucky days in the 80s, and multiple stores that to the best of my knowledge have major mold problems from unrepaired roof or plumbing leaks overhead. Deferred maintenance does not help save money. What was once going to be a low level trade repair becomes a major project costing tens or even hundreds of thousands. It is becoming widespread especially in any building that wasn't explicitly built by Kroger themselves.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:34 pm
Kroger is not good with any kind of maintenance or remodeling. This is why they have these many remodels where now there are spotlights and reflectors aiming at graphics that are no longer present, horrible mismatched linoleum that I haven't seen the likes of since the Lucky days in the 80s, and multiple stores that to the best of my knowledge have major mold problems from unrepaired roof or plumbing leaks overhead. Deferred maintenance does not help save money. What was once going to be a low level trade repair becomes a major project costing tens or even hundreds of thousands. It is becoming widespread especially in any building that wasn't explicitly built by Kroger themselves.
I can think of a retailer who was similarly bad at taking care of their facilities and doing a bunch of half baked "remodels" to stores: Kmart.

That didn't end well.

CVS is another one who seems to be like this but not as bad as Kroger overall. CVS also seems to close stores that get extremely run down. What is more concerning with Kroger is this lousy upkeep is in OWNED facilities. You'd think if they owned the buildings they'd want to keep them up...

I can say things about Target, Wal Mart, Safeway, etc., but they keep their facilities up much better than this...
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by babs »

It appears to me that Fred Meyer has stopped remodeling stores. I'm not aware of any store currently being remodeled. Instead they are going in and doing minor changes such as combining natural products into regular grocery. Or they are replacing cold cases as needed. And no new stores, leaving some obvious gaps in coverage.

The floors look awful in most stores. Dingy, and dull, which in turn makes the floors look dirty, not something you want at a grocery store. All you have to do is look at Costco on how to maintain floors. And in most cases, Costcos look better than Fred Meyer.

I don't think this is related to the Albertsons merger. instead, I think they overspend on eCommerce initiatives that have not paid off such as all the automated warehouses they build. Time to refocus on the stores.
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Re: Fred Meyer 2018 remodel not aging well

Post by veteran+ »

storewanderer wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:56 pm
ClownLoach wrote: June 13th, 2024, 10:34 pm
Kroger is not good with any kind of maintenance or remodeling. This is why they have these many remodels where now there are spotlights and reflectors aiming at graphics that are no longer present, horrible mismatched linoleum that I haven't seen the likes of since the Lucky days in the 80s, and multiple stores that to the best of my knowledge have major mold problems from unrepaired roof or plumbing leaks overhead. Deferred maintenance does not help save money. What was once going to be a low level trade repair becomes a major project costing tens or even hundreds of thousands. It is becoming widespread especially in any building that wasn't explicitly built by Kroger themselves.
I can think of a retailer who was similarly bad at taking care of their facilities and doing a bunch of half baked "remodels" to stores: Kmart.

That didn't end well.

CVS is another one who seems to be like this but not as bad as Kroger overall. CVS also seems to close stores that get extremely run down. What is more concerning with Kroger is this lousy upkeep is in OWNED facilities. You'd think if they owned the buildings they'd want to keep them up...

I can say things about Target, Wal Mart, Safeway, etc., but they keep their facilities up much better than this...
Yep, CVS is very similar.

They can build an architecurally beautiful building or take over a stunning building and it all ends up the same.

Worn out, dirty, unrepaired and ugly.

Spoke to a CVS DM (in person) for the store at La Cienega Bl. and Santa Monica Bl. in W. Hollywood about this and more. This store was previously a gorgeous Esprit clothing store (iconic building in the City).

The location is in the higher class area of the City.

I won't even try to explain how bad this store is (including massive OOS for no good reason). Great employees in a cesspool store (inside and out).

I suggested to this DM to connect with the City Council and Mayor (gave him some names that I am friends with) and also the Sheriff's liaison to the City. Also the Code Enforcement Officer.

Let's see if Corporate supports him.
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