A report in Supermarket News on the opening of Safeway’s new lifestyle store in North Boulder, Colorado quotes from a Safeway press release that sounds like the store followed all the analyst’s advice reports on how to compete with Whole Foods. But NBN knows natural shoppers can smell a phony wannabe a mile away, so we we’re surprised to hear good reviews from out people on the road. In other words, this doesn’t seem like just to another lame attempt by a mainstream store to get ‘groovy’.
New Efforts Get Good Reviews from Local Scouts
As noted, the 77,000 sq ft store offers “thousands fresh, natural and organic products, many of which are sourced locally.” Wow! Carrying locally sourced produce in a mainstream supermarket?
Okay we like the sound of it and furthermore, have heard from some industry folks that these stores do look good, and have very Whole Foods in “feel.” Yet given the committment one wonders how look the push towards this market will continue unless the investors and Wall Street analysts watching Safeway are impressed, as much as Sarah Soccer Mom.
Cooking demonstrations, a full service butcher are among the other features that Safeway had added, along with the now ubiquitous Starbuck’s and a Jamba Juice. Again, we like the sound of it. While not newsworthy to Whole Foods shoppers, a 34 foot, full service butcher especially, in a channel more concerned with ways to reduce the ‘graying’ of meat packed and shrink wrapped in a central warehouse before being shipped hundreds of miles to stores is a definite innovation.
What’s old is new. Local produce. Butchers. But while sounding all the right notes, we all now that the magic lies in the details. NBN will send a scout to Safeway for a firsthand report soon. If you’ve been there already, send us your thoughts.