*Because it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a "news" post and an opinion piece, this is an opinion piece. I have no association with Patch except that I comment on here (and use my real name).*
Have you seen it? Have you been a target of aggressive advertising to get you to check out the newly renovated Safeway? Personally, I think it's a great addition for our local community, and I'm glad that the process worked efficiently to get us to this new shopping experience.
Except it's not in our immediate community. Our Safeway has remained stagnant. As my husband and I shop–even though the store is a new experience–many of the faces remain the same. It seems much of the staff with whom whom we interacted on a regular basis have transfered to the new place. I also see many familiar faces of neighbors or regular shoppers going the extra distance for the bakery, larger meat counter, or the better beer selection.
If this trend continues, I see 3 potential options.
- Safeway will realize how much business is being lost at the current store on Solano and push the city and community to be able to make the necessary changes to the store.
- The store will remain stagnant, and my family will keep giving business to the store further away except in "emergency" runs for milk or any other single item.
- Safeway will pull out of the location because the store is losing customers, staff, and money, and there is no chance of ever getting the improvements.
Albany needs a plan and action soon. Two of the recently elected city council members were explicitly supportive of completing this process on Patch. (here and here), but now that Whole Foods has pulled out, let's focus on businesses that are already here and have a more immediate impact on the city.
The last article from Patch staff was on April 19, and the last article that focused on Safeway was the announcement of a meeting on May 2 (it could be noted that the poll on this post has 81% of all responders "definitely" supporting the new Safeway).
Side note: could the new Safeway plans include cell towers? I'm unfamiliar with the city's rules for this area.