Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Goes Around Comes Around, the January 2014 edition

Before I launch into my unintentional follow-up to my J.C. Penney store closure post, I want to make one thing clear.

The supermarket business was having trouble long before Walmart set foot in southern California.

Remember Lucky, Alpha Beta, Hughes, the original Safeways, and other long-departed supermarkets in southern California? Most of those chains no longer exist, having merged with other supermarket chains or having closed entirely.

But the attrition, partially caused by increased competition from stores as varied as Walmart and Trader Joe's (we'll get to Trader Joe's later), has resulted in a slow attrition of the remaining supermarkets in southern California.

Not too long ago, I had to get something at Ralph's. Since the Ralph's in Upland at Foothill and San Antonio closed long ago, I figured I'd go to the Ralph's at 4th and Vineyard - only to discover that there was no longer a Ralph's there. I ended up at Haven and Baseline.

When the Albertsons at Foothill and Mountain in Upland closed, it wasn't that big a concern to me. I rarely shop at Albertsons anyway, and when I do, I usually shop at the one in northwest Ontario.

Ah, Albertsons.

Back in 2008, Albertsons was part of SuperValu. In a March 2008 post, I quoted from a second-generation owner of a SuperValu. While he wasn't necessarily happy about the small markets that had closed when the SuperValu opened, he chalked it all up to business.

"I'm a small-town person at heart, and I hate to see that, but it's a matter of economics. The fact is you need volume to survive."

Little did he know.

By November 2013, when the Walmart opened, I noted that SuperValu had sold the Albertsons chain, and that some stores had been closed. Well, those store closures continued with the Foothill and Mountain closure.

And now, Gregory J. Wilcox of the Los Angeles Daily News has announced that the Albertsons in northwest Ontario - just down the street from Walmart - is closing next month, as part of a closure of 11 stores ranging from Santa Clarita to San Diego.

Of course, there's the Walmart down the street, Stater Brothers all over the place, and various specialty stores such as Trader Joe's...whoops, strike that. The Trader Joe's in Upland is closing also.

Change is constant.

blog comments powered by Disqus