Supermarket Shuffle

Our local Albertsons is closing. I knew the company was closing a large number of its Bay Area locations, but didn’t know they were closing ours until I saw a man with a sandwich board advertising an inventory blowout at “up to 60% off”. I went over today, and discovered that “up to 60% off” is marketing-speak for “there is one item at 60% off”. Greeting cards, that’s it. Everything else is at a lower discount: 10% for meat and produce, 20% for bulk and frozen groceries, and 40% for non-food “general merchandise”. Milk is not discounted at all. I suppose it makes some sense; they can’t keep a large stock of perishables anyway, so they probably expect to sell it all out before closing. On the other hand, dry goods also seem to me the easiest to transfer to another store and sell eventually. I guess they know what they’re doing.

I’m a little surprised that this store is closing. Albertsons is supposedly closing the underperforming stores, and this one always seemed pretty busy. The lines were long, at least, although that may just have been because they replaced half the cashiers with computerized self-service machines that no one could ever seem to figure out how to use. I was also surprised to see that the Albertsons Pharmacy is transferring prescriptions not to another Albertsons, but to the Safeway Pharmacy across the street. It seems uncharacteristically helpful.

On the plus side, they’re building a Whole Foods a few blocks away. It’s supposed to open in August, and be three times the size of the Palo Alto store. That’s something to look forward to.