Albertsons in Houston

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Ephrata1966
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Albertsons in Houston

Post by Ephrata1966 » 20 Feb 2011 00:58

You might not be familiar but Albertsons in Houston was a fiasco, and Kroger bought many of their stores.

wnetmacman
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Re: A&P in Irving, TX

Post by wnetmacman » 20 Feb 2011 09:56

Ephrata1966 wrote:You might not be familiar but Albertsons in Houston was a fiasco
Not so much a fiasco as a victim of bad timing. The same held true for their stores in New Orleans. They had the right idea, but poor locations and did this all at the wrong time.
Ephrata1966 wrote:Kroger bought many of their stores.
Kroger bought several, but I would hardly say many. Food Town got many. HEB got many. Kroger got a few, and most of those replaced existing stores.
Scott Greer

Dean
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by Dean » 15 Apr 2011 16:16

Was just in Houston.

Noticed a number of KROGER sites from the highway...that obviously had been Albertsons. The PHARMACY & FOOD signage under KROGER must've been the Albertsons signage...as it is in the Albertsons script.

The Albertsons distribution center in Katy TX was purchased by 99 CENTS ONLY STORES of Southern California.

Ephrata1966
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Apr 2011 14:52

I thought the same thing in 2006. One I saw from the freeway was at Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8 and West Road. The place had a 99 Cents Only store across from it. Are those stores not out of business now?

And what I have never been able to find out is if any Kroger stores have Starbucks other than these. In case you had any doubts, these stores did from the beginning as Albertsons. I am a little surprised Kroger kept them. There would seem to be legal difficulties involved in just "inheriting" them from Albertsons. What is even stranger is the freestanding Starbucks in a couple of these centers. And when I look back, 2000 seems a little early for these Albertsons to have been built. Maybe that's just me.

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by wnetmacman » 18 Apr 2011 23:50

Ephrata1966 wrote:2000 seems a little early for these Albertsons to have been built.
No. 99 Cents Only stayed put. They decided the stores were making more money than they thought.
Ephrata1966 wrote:Are those stores not out of business now?
No. Albertsons arrived in Houston very late in the game. They were not there more than 10 years.
Scott Greer

marshd1000
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by marshd1000 » 05 Oct 2012 21:08

Ephrata1966 wrote:And what I have never been able to find out is if any Kroger stores have Starbucks other than these. In case you had any doubts, these stores did from the beginning as Albertsons. I am a little surprised Kroger kept them. There would seem to be legal difficulties involved in just "inheriting" them from Albertsons. What is even stranger is the freestanding Starbucks in a couple of these centers.
While I have not been in a Kroger since visiting Dallas in 1998, I do know that the Kroger owned chains here in the Northwest, QFC and Fred Meyer, have many stores with a Starbucks inside them. So for them to inherit a Starbucks from buying a Albertsons is probably not that difficult since Kroger probably has a licensing agreement with Starbucks. Additionally I have seen many shopping centers with a licensed grocery store Starbucks and a corporate Starbucks in the same center. In Seattle, Westwood Village comes to mind with a QFC (Kroger) owned Starbucks, a corporate Starbucks and even a Barnes and Noble Cafe "serving Starbucks Coffee" in the same mall.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by pseudo3d » 06 Oct 2012 09:11

I know a Starbucks Coffee was inside a Kroger store (circa 2000, still there) and also inside an Albertsons (local one, College Station, TX) circa 2002 or so (and it was one of the first Starbucks in town, actually). The Albertsons one was shuttered a bit before the store started OOB sales in 2008. As far as I know, the Kroger one still operates.

Ephrata1966
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by Ephrata1966 » 17 Oct 2012 16:27

I was surprised to see the Starbucks at the former Genuardi's (owned by Safeway) in Wayne PA still open after the store was closed temporarily, then replaced by a Giant a few months ago. Ironically, the opposite happened at the Genuardi's in Springfield PA, when the Starbucks closed about a year ago. This was a newer and nicer Genuardi's than the Wayne one, but was one of the last ones to have Starbucks added, which never happened until the store got a Safeway Lifestyle remodel in 2007. I guess because Wayne is on the Main Line, a market which happens to be rich, and the acquisition of this Genuardi's along with the one in nearby Wynnewood happens to be Giant's first entrance into the region, Giant felt Starbucks would be a big draw to the store. And Starbucks was able to stay put here but not at other Genuardi's.

It also is amazing how the small and very old (early 1950s) Acme in Rosemont, PA had a Starbucks added to it right after Albertsons bought Acme. This Acme ended up closing around 2006, and now is a CVS. The similar but slightly larger Acme in nearby Bryn Mawr (which has the same zip code as Rosemont) stayed open until last year, when it was demolished and rebuilt. Starbucks was in the old store for a while, but was closed around 2007. There also was a Barnes & Noble across the street from here, with a Starbucks, but the Barnes & Noble closed (they wanted to relocate but couldn't find a space) also in 2007. Ironically, there was a Borders in Rosemont which it's a shame they couldn't have taken, but I guess few people predicted the sudden death of Borders. There still is a freestanding Starbucks in Bryn Mawr, luckily. A Walgreens took half of the old Barnes & Noble, but closed less than a year later. The rest of the building is a real estate office. I hated the timing of the Rosemont Acme closing, because a brand new The Fresh Grocer (part of a chain that uses a lot of old Acme/A&P/Food Fair/Penn Fruit stores) was built in Villanova around the same time, but it closed months later.

Also, due to the wealth of the Main Line, most of the several Wine & Spirits stores in it have all the relatively new bells and whistles. However, one of their two stores in Wayne is the exception, and is an obsolete, dingy store that I think opened in 1979. The also old Rite Aid in town is in the process of moving right now, and I suspect the Wine & Spirits will move to the old Rite Aid spot as soon as the new one opens.

And here's a really strange coincidence: in 2002, when Albertsons exited the Houston market, Kroger bought 16 of their stores. Exactly 10 years later, recently in 2012, Giant bought 16 Genuardi's stores. Most of the Albertsons in Houston had a similar look to most Genuardi's too. I really was shocked that Genuardi's was dissolved, because it really was the only "upscale" grocery chain in Greater Philadelphia. But I guess Giant used lower prices and larger stores to lure away Genuardi's customers, and Wegmans has enough stores, though few in the area, to win over the "gourmet" element. On top of that, most Acme stores were looking decrepit in the late 80's and 90's, when Genuardi's (and Giant) really started to grow, but Albertsons came in and freshened up the chain.

Rob_L
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by Rob_L » 18 Oct 2012 17:51

Re: Genuardis/Starbucks - Too bad, as usual, the genius management at Safeway had to mess with a good thing. Prior to the Safeway buyout/nightmare/fiasco/destruction of Genuardi's, they had Bucks County Coffee co. (local independent roaster with great coffee in the Philly area) kiosks in quite a few locations... I guess that the Starbucks took the place of them after the buyout?

Ephrata1966
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by Ephrata1966 » 21 Oct 2012 15:27

I'm not sure about Bucks County Coffee. The only Bucks County Coffee "stand" I've ever seen was one at the Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Another coffee chain I miss is Gloria Jeans, which once had a location in Philadelphia International Airport, along with Willowbrook Mall and Woodlands Mall in Houston. There actually were two in Woodlands Mall very close to one another, one being a kiosk and the other being a walk-in shop. The chain redesigned their logo not long before they seemingly disappeared around 2002. I also remember Grapevine Mills Mall in Dallas having two Starbucks, one being a walk-in shop with its own seating, but the other being a food court stand that looked like a cowboy hat, identical to the Haagen-Dazs stand next door. It's a shame one of the two Albertsons in Spring (near Houston) had to close and not be replaced by another grocer, because it had a Starbucks inside, and despite the abundance of Starbucks in Houston, there weren't any freestanding ones in Spring, which is/was a poorer area. The Kroger Signature nearby might have one though. If this Kroger didn't exist, the Albertsons likely would have been bought by Kroger. The other Albertsons in Spring is a Kroger Signature now (I'm not sure why it became a Signature but other Albertsons-Kroger conversions didn't) and retains its original Starbucks. But I guess the part of Houston along FM 1960 and The Woodlands can't be too far for anyone in Spring who wants a "real" Starbucks experience.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by pseudo3d » 10 May 2014 22:48

I'm not sure where the problems began as in 1991, the DFW division had reached College Station, but a few years later, Albertsons was in the Conroe area, and those were apparently part of the Houston area later because they were sold to Kroger in 2002. Albertsons entered in 1996 but pulled out in 2002 entirely, meanwhile, the DFW division just added its third store in Bryan-College Station, and renovated another to have Starbucks Coffee inside. I'm not sure if San Antonio was a separate division or not, but it pulled out in 2002 as well. In 2006, Albertsons pulled out of the Interstate 35 corridor unless I'm not mistaken (Waco, Temple-Killeen, Austin) but left a single store in New Braunfels, as well as Kerrville, so by 2011, Kerrville, New Braunfels, and B-CS (now down to one store) are surviving far outside the DFW territory and shuttered. Meanwhile, the stores in greater Baton Rouge, which were considered part of the DFW division but far closer to Houston actually ended up EXPANDING some, opening a store in spring 2011 in Denham Springs (former Winn-Dixie).

If the way they did divisions doesn't spell "problematic" I don't know what does.

(and that's BEFORE the Safeway acquisition!)

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by pseudo3d » 02 Nov 2015 16:07

Besides buying American Stores and a number of bad locations, what "bad timing" plagued Albertsons in Houston? They started building in Houston proper in 1995, but it wasn't until 2001 when H-E-B started building full-line stores, which ended up being a superior supermarket to Albertsons. Their distribution center was definitely in the wrong place, a center way out of town with the only real entrance being a congested and underbuilt six-lane freeway.

I guess one thing that was kind of interesting is that a few Albertsons were picked up by Randalls, which of course, became part of the company later...

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by pseudo3d » 27 Jan 2016 21:58

pseudo3d wrote:Besides buying American Stores and a number of bad locations, what "bad timing" plagued Albertsons in Houston? They started building in Houston proper in 1995, but it wasn't until 2001 when H-E-B started building full-line stores, which ended up being a superior supermarket to Albertsons. Their distribution center was definitely in the wrong place, a center way out of town with the only real entrance being a congested and underbuilt six-lane freeway.

I guess one thing that was kind of interesting is that a few Albertsons were picked up by Randalls, which of course, became part of the company later...
I guess that one of the aspects of "bad timing" was recession, both national (soft economy in 2001, downturn immediately afterward) and local (Enron beginning to collapse). The market really couldn't support the entry of Albertsons, they were putting in enormous resources for a fraction of market share.

New Orleans lasted longer than Houston in the end but it probably failed because the market was just so different than what Albertsons was used to.

KrogerTexas
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by KrogerTexas » 15 May 2016 09:00

Kroger Houston did not have Starbucks in their stores until they purchased the Albertson's stores.

Albertson's was in Conroe in the late 80's with a single store on South Loop 336.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons in Houston

Post by pseudo3d » 20 May 2016 11:16

Yeah, the Albertsons in Conroe did pre-date the Houston stores by several years, but I know that Starbucks first appeared in Kroger in the late 1990s (have an article from Supermarket News here somewhere), and the Kroger that opened in College Station in late 2000 did in fact have a Starbucks (I think it might've been the first Starbucks in town, actually). I have a store directory of that store that does prove it. When the Albertsons a mile or so north remodeled a few years later (it remained in College Station and even built a new store in Bryan as Houston crumbled), it added a Starbucks, which at the time seemed a bit too little, too late.

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