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STT757
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:30 pm

In Central New Jersey we have Wegmans, the best Supermarket on Earth.
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Okie
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:53 pm

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 48):
Walmart loves to take giant cardboard boxes full of product and stick them right in the middle of the busiest aisles, obstructing traffic and making the store feel cramped.

I find it quite humorous that those exact display positions are stacked with holiday food and dessert items from October through the end of December mysteriously change over night to diet items on January 1st.

Marketing at its finest.

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ER757
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:39 pm

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 48):
Walmart loves to take giant cardboard boxes full of product and stick them right in the middle of the busiest aisles, obstructing traffic and making the store feel cramped.

I've run into this same issue at Safeway and Fred Meyer as well. Annoying as hell
 
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cjg225
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:07 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 50):
In Central New Jersey we have Wegmans, the best Supermarket on Earth.

The thing that bothers me about Wegmans is their inability to keep certain staple items on the shelves. You can find almost anything at Wegmans, but Lord help you if you need some staple item. It drives me insane when I go to Wegmans to get some items I know I can only get there and end up having to hit Weis or Giant on the way home because Wegmans was out of some really basic item, like cheese singles or hot chocolate packets...
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rtalk25
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:41 pm

A few Wegmans in SE PA have a full restaurant/pub inside of them:
http://wegmanspub.com/

There is only one Wegmans in the Harrisburg area but it has a cool patio style seating.

I've wondered if Wegmans would open up smaller sized stores in NJ and in other markets, where the town or shopping plaza might not be able to support a huge store. The chain has smaller stores in upstate NY where it originates from.

[Edited 2014-12-26 10:43:48]
 
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cjg225
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 54):
A few Wegmans in SE PA have a full restaurant/pub inside of them:

I first experienced one of those in Maryland during my weekly commute to and from D.C. from Harrisburg a couple years ago. Great idea and well executed. It also had the largest and best hot bar of any Wegmans I've been in.
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BigOrange
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:44 pm

Quoting BubbleFrog (Reply 21):
OK, I'll start with a question on an obviously uninformed economist: You have ALDI in the US???

Yes, unfortunately!

When I lived at the Jersey Shore, we had Shop Rite, A&P, Pathmark, Stop and Shop and Aldi in our town. When I first moved there we went to Stop and Shop regularly, but then gravitated to A&P. Then Shop Rite did a big refurb and expansion and we started going there.

Naturally when I moved to North Jersey, Shop Rite was my first choice but they are all disgusting. Cramped and dirty looking and the staff are horrible. I tried the Super Walmart in Secaucus which was OK but way too busy for my liking, so I ended up switching to Stop & Shop in Hackensack or Clifton.

If we got one of the Super Target's I would probably give that a try but I know of none anywhere in NJ.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:22 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 49):
Yup, it's something their size allows them to have.

I suggest it's something their size demands they have. As in, their supply chain can not possibly be as efficient as it is without their own meteorology department.

Same thing with any large, transportation dependent organization. It would cost money not to have your own accurate meteorology department.

I routinely use ours as opposed to my local news. Much more accurate. Wish we had an app for that!
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57AZ
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:40 am

Back when I lived in CHA, the predominate grocery stores were still local chains-Red Food Stores and Pruitt's. Both had strong roots in the area-Red Food started out as truck grocers in the 1920s. Competition in the 1980s introduced Kroger, Food Lion and Winn-Dixie. Food Lion and Winn-Dixie went bust, leaving only Kroger and the local chains were driven under by the competition.

Out here in TUS, the primary grocers are Kroger-dba Fry's Food and Drug and Safeway. Basha's and Albertsons have a couple of stores, as does Food City, but they don't have the market presence of Kroger or Safeway. Locally, Fry's and Safeway are the higher end stores.
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nickh
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:22 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Both Kroger and Safeway are generating good earnings.

I was reading somewhere that despite popular belief, the profit margins for most mainstream grocery stores -- for most household staple goods -- is really only about 1%-2%.
It is the varietal sundry items (herbs, spices, "gourmet and specialty" items, etc.) that is where the markup goes to 15% and beyond.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Kroger has about 800 stores and Safeway about 1300.

I did some consulting work for Randall's Supermarkets here in Houston back in the 1990s - they were a family owned company then, run by the patriarch, Mr. Randall Onstead.
Randall's grew as a privately held company by purchasing a lot of smaller city-specific chains, such as Tom Thumb markets and Simon David markets, in Austin.

Randall's had a strict "No Alcohol" policy - not even beer or wine was sold in their stores. The edict was passed from the Onstead family, who are deep "Church of Christ" devotees. A friend of mine, also a "Church of Christ" member, his family knew the Onsteads very well.
I got to meet Mr. Onstead Sr. a number of times, as I was a contractor at their main office in Houston. Nice fellow.
Then, when Safeway bought them out, that "no liquor" rule went out of the window. You can now buy beer and wine there, but no hard liquor (Texas State Law - grocery stores can't sell hard liquor).

Anyway - just a little background on the subject.

Oh yeah - some of you in these parts (south/southwest) might have seen the H-E-B grocery stores, and wondered what the initials stand for: They are the initials of the founders name - "Howard Edward Butt" - yes, that is his real name.

-Nick
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cjg225
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:47 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 57):
I suggest it's something their size demands they have. As in, their supply chain can not possibly be as efficient as it is without their own meteorology department.

Same thing with any large, transportation dependent organization. It would cost money not to have your own accurate meteorology department.

I routinely use ours as opposed to my local news. Much more accurate. Wish we had an app for that!

I think the difference is that they are not using it just for avoid problems, but they are using it proactively to increase revenue. Supply chain, at it's most basic level, is the matching of supply with demand. They use their meteo department to predict demand by consumers and businesses, which is quite impressive.
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PITingres
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:44 pm

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 53):
It drives me insane when I go to Wegmans to get some items I know I can only get there and end up having to hit Weis or Giant on the way home because Wegmans was out of some really basic item, like cheese singles or hot chocolate packets...

Shudder!

Something tells me that you might not be considered the core Wegman's target audience.  

I love the Wegman's near my daughter, and I wish we had them here. The local Giant Eagle chain isn't bad; indeed, is vastly improved over a couple decades ago, but they tend to lack various key higher-end items. (Pate and puff pastry, for example. We had to resort to the Worlds Most Expensive Foods, aka Whole Foods, to finish shopping for the Christmas wellington.)

To address the OP's question, we're going to have a mini-showdown right up the road from me, where a Walmart supercenter is going in (against considerable local opposition) across the street from one of Giant Eagle's better stores. I suspect the Iggle will hang in there, particularly since this isn't what I would consider a Walmart style consumer area; but they may have to get creative with some staple pricing. It will be interesting to watch. (I'm rooting for Giant Eagle; in my opinion at least, a Walmart-only world would be one of the outer circles of Hell.)

[Edited 2014-12-27 15:51:08]
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mad99
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:05 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
How do you think the Supermarket retailers are going to have to act to survive?

Trader Joe's, Whole foods, QFC
why would you ever go anywhere else? I've never set foot in a walmart (but plan to) but i imagine its bulk low cost food and low quality so no thanks.
 
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hawaiian717
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:49 am

Quoting mad99 (Reply 62):
I've never set foot in a walmart (but plan to) but i imagine its bulk low cost food and low quality so no thanks.

Walmart carries the same major national brand products as the big supermarket chains. And I wouldn't be surprised if Walmart's store brand products are made by the same white label manufacturers that make the supermarket chains' store brand products. I know that the denture cleaner I buy for my retainers is exactly the same packaging on each individual tablet whether I buy Equate (Walmart), Up & Up (Target), or Safeway (Vons) brand.
 
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mad99
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:11 am

Quoting hawaiian717 (Reply 63):
Walmart carries the same major national brand products as the big supermarket chains.

i've never set foot in one but like i said, i plan to. It seems to be a love it or hate it place from what i've read in the economist mag
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:22 am

Quoting BubbleFrog (Reply 21):
I'll add to that an irrelevant anecdote. I love Safeway, as my (not-so-officially-obtained) Safeway-whatever card still works every time I'm in the good old US of A.

Nothing illicit about what you did. They need a phone number and an address and you get discounts. I've moved several times since I first got my Safeway card in 2008 and never told them and they don't care. The phone number on my Safeway card account is still tagged to my old 917 Manhattan cell phone number. They've never bothered me about it once.

Safeway (and all such stores) play fast and loose with those cards. They profit from you having one. Look at how it won your loyalty and all it cost them was a piece of plastic and a tiny data entry/storage cost.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 23):
actually wonder if it is more about making people feel like they're getting a deal and driving brand loyalty than figuring out customer wants.

Oh no! It helps them a lot with that. In return for giving you a discount on some overstocked item, they can extract all sorts of useful marketing and stocking data. Remember, they profit by making sure that customers can get what they want at their stores. If Safeway never has enough of certain things, you'll stop going there for that. If they stock too much, that's bad economics (and even worse if the item is perishable or requires refrigeration or freezing).

They might not know my current number at Safeway, but they can tell where I live and where I work and they know what I buy at their stores. And where I fill up at their Chevron/Texaco Partners. There's a lot they can do with that data.
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cjg225
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:34 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 61):
Shudder!

Something tells me that you might not be considered the core Wegman's target audience.

Well, maybe not, but I think Wegmans does not have a particularly narrow target audience. I shop at Wegmans almost exclusively. Those items I mentioned are things that probably should be available at any grocery store all the time, for example, however "low" they seem.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 61):
I love the Wegman's near my daughter, and I wish we had them here. The local Giant Eagle chain isn't bad; indeed, is vastly improved over a couple decades ago, but they tend to lack various key higher-end items. (Pate and puff pastry, for example. We had to resort to the Worlds Most Expensive Foods, aka Whole Foods, to finish shopping for the Christmas wellington.)

I lived out in the PIT area for a while and never really got a good impressive of Giant Eagle. I actually interviewed with them when I was in my MBA program but didn't get a position. Struck me as a kind of middle-of-the-road grocery store that I'd put below Weis on appearance and quality.
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hawaiian717
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:36 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 65):
Nothing illicit about what you did. They need a phone number and an address and you get discounts. I've moved several times since I first got my Safeway card in 2008 and never told them and they don't care. The phone number on my Safeway card account is still tagged to my old 917 Manhattan cell phone number. They've never bothered me about it once.

And they don't always even need that. I remember one time on an application for one of the cards (Albertson's I think) there was a box you could check if you didn't want to give all the info and they'd still give you a card. And one time after the mag stripe on my Vons Club card stopped working they just gave me a new one but somehow managed to spell my name wrong. It's never been fixed.

I do like how Vons/Safeway cards are interchangeable. I can use my Vons card as if it was a Safeway card when I'm at a Safeway. It was a while ago but I remember one time trying to use my Ralph's card at a Fry's in Arizona (both part of Kroger) and it didn't work.
 
rtalk25
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:21 pm

Quoting hawaiian717 (Reply 67):
I do like how Vons/Safeway cards are interchangeable. I can use my Vons card as if it was a Safeway card when I'm at a Safeway.

I believe the same is true with Giant-MD and Stop&Shop. It's Giant-Carlisle, PA that's an anomoly that I don't believe it works. There are close overlap areas, e.g. SE PA that border Delaware where it can be confusing for shoppers, as it's two different Giants but still named "Giant" and stores won't honor returns as far as I know. I believe there are other areas in PA where Giant-Eagle might overlap with Giant-PA.

All three (Giant-MD, Giant-Carlisle and Stop&Shop) are under the same ownership, but Giant-PA is non unionized and Ahold wants to keep it that way rather than integrate it.

The unionized vs. non-unionized is interesting. At one time, I used to hear of and see non unioned stores when opening being picketed by unionized store employees. But, now I don't think picketing at non-unionized stores happens as much.

In general, the non unionized stores have an advantage in labor costs. But a few non unionized stores like Wegmans, Costco and Whole Foods pay employees well, despite that.

And, Genuardi's (when owned by Safeway) and Bottom Dollar Food (Food Lion) were failures in the Philadelphia market, despite having that non unionized advantage over ShopRite and Acme, although these chains have economies of scale working far better in their favor.

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 56):
Naturally when I moved to North Jersey, Shop Rite was my first choice but they are all disgusting.

ShopRites are hit or miss dependent on ownership, but I know many are dumpy, but some are fine. Perhaps it's the population density of the Northern NJ market that makes A&P (some under Pathmark banner) still be able to exist, and those stores can be more dumpy. And there is Stop&Shop (which is generally perceived as overpriced), and/or it's the ShopRites aren't so great.

It'd be great if Wegmans would consider smaller format stores to put A&P and some of the failing chains out of it's misery, but it's interest is only in large stores for new expansion.

Atleast Wegmans seems to have the capital to expand whereas I'm not as sure with Weis Markets, and Weis doesn't have the extent into NJ that Wegmans already has here.

A former Genuardi's in Barnegat (So. Ocean county) that is in a decent area that would make sense as a small Wegmans. Wegmans operates smaller stores in Rochester and Buffalo markets.

The Baltimore market has a good representation of competing chains, as it has the chains from the South mainly from DC (like Giant-MD, Shoppers, Safeway, Food Lion, Harris Teeter (now Kroger owned), Mom's Organic Markets) as well as the chains from the north (ShopRite, Weis, Wegmans) and Mars, which is local, along with some Super Wal-Mart(s), Costco, Aldi, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. A good shopping center grocery anchor wouldn't sit empty for long with all the chains where one would assume the location.

In NJ, A&P and Acme haven't been expanding with the exception of the parent company's merging with other chains.

[Edited 2014-12-29 09:45:57]
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:28 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 68):
A former Genuardi's in Barnegat (So. Ocean county) that is in a decent area that would make sense as a small Wegmans. Wegmans operates smaller stores in Rochester and Buffalo markets.

Those smaller stores are mostly older stores that date back to a different time and business model for Wegmans. Today, I don't see them opening smaller stores. You can see where Wegmans has plans to go here:

http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/st...langId=-1&faqCategory=AboutWegmans

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 66):
Well, maybe not, but I think Wegmans does not have a particularly narrow target audience. I shop at Wegmans almost exclusively. Those items I mentioned are things that probably should be available at any grocery store all the time, for example, however "low" they seem.

From my experience, Wegmans struggles to keep the staples stocked purely because they are a victim of their own success/popularity. Wegmans prices on staple goods are very competitive (I'd say only Wal-mart is cheaper on a regular basis) and people seem to buy in bulk a lot at Wegmans too. The stores get overrun by people at times (particularly on weekends) and they can't seem to keep everything stocked. A few weeks ago, I was watching this poor stockboy trying to keep the bananas stocked in a Wegmans. As fast as he was putting more bananas on the shelf, people were taking them right back off. Poor kid just couldn't do it fast enough.
 
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cjg225
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:04 pm

I agree about Wegmans' prices. They had a stigma for high prices back in the day, but they have steadily become very inexpensive for a lot of high-volume items.

The one thing Wegmans is bad about, though, is deals. A lot of other grocery stores are really good about BOGO or similar deals. I was living in North Carolina for 8 months and thought Harris Teeter did a great job of giving such deals on things I buy a lot. Wegmans hardly ever has deals, it seems. I use my shoppers card a lot and hardly ever see much come off my bill. I could see $10+ come off a $60 bill at Harris Teeter a lot.
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bjorn14
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:58 pm

The American Icon still lives....Piggly Wiggly. I used to live a few blocks from the original one in Memphis.
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L-188
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RE: Mainstream Supermarkets In The US

Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:58 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 71):
The American Icon still lives....Piggly Wiggly. I used to live a few blocks from the original one in Memphis

We had one of those in Anchorage Alaska about thirty years ago.
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