Safeway before 1999

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Safeway before 1999

Post by Ephrata1966 » 01 Dec 2010 09:28

What were early 1990s Safeways like? I am not too familiar with these stores. Did Safeway have any "upscale" stores before they bought Genuardi's/Zagara's and Randalls/Flagship? What are Safeway "Marketplace" stores? There was one I saw a photo of in Baltimore/DC that closed last month. Did they have these in the West?

When did Safeway first start "disposing" of their 1970s and older stores? Or early 1980s stores?

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Re: Safeway before 1999

Post by xsafeway » 05 Dec 2010 13:22

As a former employee on the East Coast (Richmond and Washington DC Divisions then the Eastern Division when they were merged) I can only address what was done here. That said, the early 90s stores were very generic, they had no front windows and were very industrial in appearance. Inside there were brightly lit with a standard lay out (perishable around the perimeter) and the expected departments. These stores were significantly larger then what they had been building.

In the DC Area we had the Georgetown Safeway and in Richmond there was the Safeway International (until 1993). The International in MacLean, VA was replaced in the late 1980s (I believe it was late 80s).

Market Place was the format that replaced Super Store. The concept was to make each department seem like a small business unto itself (example: the Meat Department was supposed to feel like a Butcher Shop). The decor package was very expensive with a lot of special lighting, paint schemes, and construction. I don't know if I would call this an upscale store since they were but in many different types on demographic areas.

Safeway did not spend a lot on money on stores in this area when I was growing up, there were not many new stores opened in the 1970s and early 80s. There were a number of expansions and many closings of Marina type stores during the period. During the recession in the early 1980s Safeway closed a large number of under performing 40s and 50s era stores (along with most of the Town House stores from the 60s). Then again in the early 90s when KKR took over a large number of stores were closed but it was spread out over time so it was not obvious. Eventually the entire Richmond Division was gone (except for 3 or 4 stores on the edge of Northern Virginia), the stores on the Maryland Eastern Shore went (except two), and some stores on the NW edge of the DC region.

When I left Safeway in 2000 they were still treading water, but when I returned to the area in 2007 they had apparently accelerated their construction program and had begun replacing stores built in the 1980s.

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