Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

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pseudo3d
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Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 29 Oct 2014 16:19

While the "new" Albertsons as created by the unification of New Albertsons Inc. and Albertsons LLC under common ownership is probably the better-run and overall better company, the "old" Albertsons Inc. did have more markets in better days and a willingness to expand outside the general gamut of groceries. They partnered with Office Depot and Toys R Us to open small branded "store-within-a-stores", and even (in two divisions) ran lawn and garden centers. A few Houston stores had the Garden Centers, and from what I read, the Phoenix stores did too. Unfortunately, the Houston garden centers closed with the division in 2002 (Kroger did not operate garden centers) and the Phoenix ones ceased doing so after 2006 when the company broke up.

An example of this was 12400 FM 1960 Road West. Did Albertsons attempt garden centers anywhere else, and what were they like anyway? Were they any good?

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by wnetmacman » 29 Oct 2014 21:31

One store in Lafayette opened with one. It didn't have much, nor did it last long.
Scott Greer

Super S
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by Super S » 31 Oct 2014 00:29

I am not 100% sure of this, but I seem to remember at least one one Albertsons in Idaho, just west of Boise, having what appeared to be a fenced outside area which could have very well been a garden center at one point. I want to say it was located on Eagle Road, but am not positive. It wouldn't surprise me though given the close proximity to headquarters. Also, Albertsons did have freestanding Sav-On stores in Boise for a short time which could have had garden centers to compete with what some of the Rite Aid stores offered (mainly former PayLess Drug locations).

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 02 Nov 2014 21:19

Yup, and here's another one in Baton Rouge with a garden center that's been defunct for years.

It's not altogether a terrible idea--as a chain, they need some larger-format stores like their competition (H-E-B Plus, Kroger Marketplace, Walmart) but it still needs some work.

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by wnetmacman » 02 Nov 2014 22:13

pseudo3d wrote:Yup, and here's another one in Baton Rouge with a garden center that's been defunct for years.
This store is of the exact same design as the Lafayette store I mentioned above. Both stores have had the garden center replaced by a highly expanded liquor section.
pseudo3d wrote:It's not altogether a terrible idea--as a chain, they need some larger-format stores like their competition (H-E-B Plus, Kroger Marketplace, Walmart) but it still needs some work.
I'm not sure of that. Even Walmart has realized that the larger stores are more of a burden than a benefit. While Kroger and HEB are doing okay with them, they aren't the main focus of either company. And Albertsons has long proven itself as a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, especially in hardlines.
Scott Greer

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 03 Nov 2014 18:30

pseudo3d wrote:It's not altogether a terrible idea--as a chain, they need some larger-format stores like their competition (H-E-B Plus, Kroger Marketplace, Walmart) but it still needs some work.
I'm not sure of that. Even Walmart has realized that the larger stores are more of a burden than a benefit. While Kroger and HEB are doing okay with them, they aren't the main focus of either company. And Albertsons has long proven itself as a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, especially in hardlines.[/quote]

Walmart's weakness isn't in the larger stores per se. They still build plenty of them. Now, in their quest for total market saturation, they've also taken to building the Express stores (for dollar stores) and Neighborhood Market (to compete with Kroger and Albertsons), but I think the whole "larger store" thing is smoke and mirrors. Heck, Walmart's even gone over 200k in the last few years with at least two Supercenter conversions off the top of my head (both in the last five years)

Walmart, Target, and Kmart figured out that all they needed to do was add a supermarket department onto their stores for nirvana, and that worked with varying degrees of success, but it's not easy to do the other way around. Supermarkets have made little headway in the general merchandise department, and stocking things like automotive parts have mostly been marginalized. Of course, they are GETTING there. Kroger initially swore up and down they weren't trying to compete with Walmart, and now they're adding clothes (of course, they kind of "cheated" since they owned Fred Meyer for years), and the same with H-E-B Plus, the initial idea was electronics, toys, and kitchenware, now some even have clothes (not a very GOOD clothes department at all, but they're improving, and the company IS trying to move in that direction.

What Albertsons could do is start MOVING in that direction, in their direction of trying to get prices down, integrate Safeway, and win back consumer confidence. When the deal closes, Albertsons WILL have nearly as many stores as Kroger but not nearly the integration.

kr.abs.swy
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by kr.abs.swy » 22 Nov 2014 23:00

Super S, I am about 99% positive that the Eagle Road Albertsons opened with a garden center right around the turn of the century. I am about 99% positive that I read that it was the first Albertsons with a garden center.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 07 Dec 2014 22:34

I read an article that indicated that the Baton Rouge stores were in fact part of the Houston division, which means that they were transferred to the Dallas division after the Houston division imploded. It also brings questions about the Bryan-College Station stores--they had two operating by 2001 with a third by 2002, but that means nothing since the Houston division was still opening stores and had a few in the pipeline (including a miserably placed store at Tidwell and Antoine--look at the exits and you'll see exactly why when Kroger took over they lasted only a few years).

Division transfers do in fact happen. Recalling an earlier topic, the Waco Safeway stores were indeed part of the Dallas division and transferred to Houston after the division shut down (and thus became AppleTree stores, albeit briefly), and the Bryan stores were probably originally Dallas too (the Dallas division was much older than the Houston division, which started around 1970--by the mid-1950s Bryan had TWO Safeway stores).

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by wnetmacman » 07 Dec 2014 22:44

pseudo3d wrote:I read an article that indicated that the Baton Rouge stores were in fact part of the Houston division
That is indeed correct, except in the same manner as Bryan/College Station was to Safeway. Lafayette and Baton Rouge had Albertsons before Houston did, and initially they were part of Dallas. When Houston was developed, they were transferred there because of the close proximity. Because they were so well established in Louisiana, only one store was sold during the Houston meltdown, in Sulphur, which was a new build. It has been a Kroger ever since, replacing a store up the street.
Scott Greer

KrogerTexas
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by KrogerTexas » 21 Jan 2015 23:52

"Kroger initially swore up and down they weren't trying to compete with Walmart, and now they're adding clothes (of course, they kind of "cheated" since they owned Fred Meyer for years"

Long before Kroger merged with Fred Meyer they sold clothing and everything else in the Family Centers. So in a way they are going back to their roots.

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by wnetmacman » 22 Jan 2015 00:06

KrogerTexas wrote:"Kroger initially swore up and down they weren't trying to compete with Walmart, and now they're adding clothes (of course, they kind of "cheated" since they owned Fred Meyer for years"

Long before Kroger merged with Fred Meyer they sold clothing and everything else in the Family Centers. So in a way they are going back to their roots.
I wouldn't quite call it that.

Kroger Family Centers were widely regarded within the company as a failure. They had massive issues with the product mix and layout; they were big stores with a horrible assortment. Also, there were no specialty departments like lawn & garden and auto repair.

The Fred Meyer purchase was actually as a part of Kroger's purchase of Smith's, who had only within the previous year (1997) merged with Fred Meyer. They essentially inherited it. If you go into a Marketplace store, the GM mix is, for lack of a better term, slim. It's there, but nowhere near what a Walmart or Target would carry. The vast majority of the store is designated to food, unlike the Family Centers that were about 70/30 mixes (because Kroger was not building huge stores at that time).
Scott Greer

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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by KrogerTexas » 22 Jan 2015 09:36

Some of the family centers in Texas/Louisiana were successful for the company. I would agree that the selection was not the best in product and the focus was more on the grocery side than the GM side and a decision was made not to invest more time in the GM side and family centers went by the wayside. There is no doubt that the Fred Meyer merger helped Kroger with the GM selection and merchandising and has made the Market Place format a success.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 22 Jan 2015 10:15

Yeah, the Family Centers clearly weren't THAT much of a disaster since I know of at least one store (Bryan) that kept its Family Center assortment into 1985.

As for clothes in Kroger, I've read that for all the new Kroger Marketplace stores that have apparel departments, that is still chosen by Fred Meyer in the Northwest, which sounds like it could be major trouble in off-seasons where Texas is warmer but Washington...isn't.

In any case, Albertsons/Safeway likely aren't going to attempt GM (or new markets) until they have the merger well stabilized and are operating as one unit. Then again, I remember quotes about how Safeway was "playing it safe" while the merger wanted to "rock the boat", or something like that.

As for the Houston division, I read that the division was established in 1990 and some stores were even renumbered for the 40xx stores, and patterns began to develop when I was creating a list, so the Baton Rouge/Louisiana stores were in the middle.

pseudo3d
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by pseudo3d » 03 Feb 2017 02:07

Not a huge fan of answering my own topics, but in case anyone's curious...

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16523279 ... Kinney-TX/

Image

wnetmacman
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Re: Albertsons Lawn and Garden Centers

Post by wnetmacman » 03 Feb 2017 12:40

I went and looked up the store LoopNet is advertising. The picture you have isn't even that store. The open area on the left doesn't exist in McKinney. Not sure what store this is, but it isn't the McKinney one.

Nonetheless, it's safe to say that Albertsons is out of the Lawn & Garden business now.
Scott Greer

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