Pak 'n Save

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steps
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Pak 'n Save

Post by steps » January 7th, 2020, 8:04 pm

I recently have been looking online at pictures of the Pak 'n Save chain in NorCal and noticed they are basically a Safeway in all but name. The prices seem to mirror Safeway along with amenities.

What exactly is the point of this chain? I don't think they have opened any new locations in years. I've seen some branded as "Pak 'n Save Safeway", why not just call it Safeway? They don't seem to offer lower prices and it seems you don't have to bag your own groceries anymore (no one mentions that in the reviews I've read). Looks like most are/were in lower income areas at one point but the demographics may have shifted to middle class-ish?

This might have been a good discount chain if Safeway had expanded it but, it just seems it's just "there", it's hardly if at all acknowledged by the company.

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Re: Pak 'n Save

Post by storewanderer » January 7th, 2020, 9:18 pm

Pak N Save previously operated with a different union contract, a lower wage structure, and different employee positions ("utility clerk" instead of courtesy clerk for instance). I am not sure if that has changed.

Many Pak N Save Stores converted to standard Safeway format. I think there are basically two "warehouse format" Pak N Saves left: San Leandro and Madera. Then there is a Pak N Save by Safeway in Emeryville which is a conversion.

The South San Francisco-Gellert Store converted just a couple years ago. What is funny is that store, initially as it was being remodeled into Lifestyle decor, got exterior signage that said Pak N Save Safeway. That was there for a few weeks and then replaced by standard Safeway signage and there is no Pak N Save identification on that store anymore, but the store still has "bag it yourself" checkstands.

Quite a few oversized Safeways started as Pak N Save: Manteca, Citrus Heights-Greenback, Daly City, Sonora, Auburn, and I am sure others.

Pak N Save ran a distinct format with low pricing through the early 00's as a hard discount box store but selling Safeway perishables (higher quality than usual for this format). After that, they started to run Safeway ads but still had some lower prices than a usual Safeway. By the time the Lifestyle program came out, Pak N Save was running as Safeway in all but name. Same outrageous prices, same ads, no longer its own format. Basically a Safeway in a warehouse format store.

And that is where Pak N Save remains today. Safeway prices in a warehouse format store. I think the last new build Pak N Save to open was around 1995 or so in Auburn or Sonora.

Don't forget Vons briefly operated a Pak N Save in Moreno Valley; that one was a hard discount format (even at a time when the NorCal ones were already Safeway in all but name) but not open for long.

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Re: Pak 'n Save

Post by Groceteria » January 11th, 2020, 2:18 pm

IIRC Pak 'n Save came into the fold when Safeway purchased the small Brentwood chain in NorCal in 1983.

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Re: Pak 'n Save

Post by storewanderer » January 11th, 2020, 9:09 pm

Yes, the Pak N Save logo shape is consistent with the old Brentwood logo shape.

There remains a sign to this day in Reno for the combined Macys Furniture Store/Tuesday Morning along both streets with that shape.

Though Pak N Save opened in the late 80's and did not make it to 1990, the old sign frame out at both road sides has made it.

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