Safeway For Sale?


From the LA Times:

“Safeway Inc. said Wednesday it is in talks about potentially selling itself, finally addressing buyout rumors that began last year after the grocery giant deflected a takeover bid.

Buyout rumors surfaced in October with reports that private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management was involved in talks to buy some or all of Safeway. Cerberus owns a supermarket business that operates Albertsons and Shaw’s.”

Anyone familiar with Albertsons and/or Shaw’s supermarkets?

60 Comment

  • Ugh I shopped at Albertson’s in college (in California) as a last resort. Aka it sucks.

    • +1 Albertson’s is gross. I want a PUBLIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • They’re not even done with developing “Stinky Safeway” version #2 yet! I wonder if it’s the health code violations that made MGMT say they can’t deal with it any more… Hopefully Murray’s doesn’t buy them out 🙁

  • I’m from Massachusetts where we have plenty of Shaw’s Supermarkets; however, I was under the impression that their business was faltering in recent years, too.

    Shaw’s is absolutely fine as a supermarket, but it has lost business to competitors such as Stop & Shop (Giant by another name in the Northeast) and Market Basket. WalMart, Target, and Trader Joe’s entering the grocery market proved even more problematic. Shaw’s doesn’t seem especially concerned with its appearances or presentation.

    In short: Shaw’s has mostly everything you could need at a reasonable price without the frills. It has bread and it has milk and it has eggs, but it’s not my first choice when I’m in Boston. Nor is it my second.

  • I worked at Shaw’s in New England, who years ago bought out most of the Grand Union chain. Also, up there they’re coincidentally Stop & Shop’s biggest rival, and Stop & Shop is owned by the same company as Giant (even have the same logo). Or, more clearly, up in New England Shaw’s : Stop & Shop/Giant :: Safeway : Giant/Stop & Shop.

    They’re pretty nice stores up there, run well, and definitely a step up from east coast Safeways (and way cleaner!). If they take the Shaw’s tack, it would be pretty great. I’d love for there to be Shaw’s around here.

    • Yes, Shaw’s is actually quite nicer than both Safeway and Albertson’s. However, this would require fairly extensive renovations to the existing Safeways to bring them up to standards.

    • I worked at Shaw’s in Mass also – Store #121! I was 16 and it was my first job. Ahhh Shaw’s. It’s a no frills store that I would place in the same category as Giant or Safeway. No specialties, just a regular food store. I like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for a lot of things now, but I still rely on “regular food stores” for the basics. I don’t need organic toilet paper…

  • Albertson’s is the west coast chain. It occupies the same brand space as Safeway (not horrible, but not good either).

    • Also south, they have them in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. And they just bought the United Supermarket chain in West Texas.

  • Everyone start thinking of location-specific adjectives beginning with A. I’ll start- Social Safeway becomes Affluent Albertsons

  • My experience with Albertson’s is on par with Safeway and Giant. I wish we could get HEB outside of Texas. That is the

  • Safeway recently offloaded all 72 Dominick’s in Chicago. Same stores, just kept the familiar Chicago brand name when they bought it. Safeway doesn’t appear to be in very good shape…

  • I gotta agree with JCo…Shaw’s is a third choice up in MA, at best (and I worked there for a few years). Every stores different…but I would actually put it on the same level as Safeway. In Mass, Roche Bros., Stop & Shop or Market Basket have greater selection/quality.

  • I wish Shop Rite would come down here!

  • Can we just get a Publix already?

  • Whenever a private equity firm gets involved, you can usually expect things to go downhill as they make cuts to maximize profits. I shop at the Georgetown Safeway on a weekly basis and overall I think it’s a pretty decent store. If this group buys Safeway, they’ll almost certainly convert it to one of their other brand names over time.

  • Albertson’s owns Acme, which I like.

  • Albertsons owns Jewel, the big Chicago regional chain that competes with the aforementioned Safeway-owned Dominick’s. My family always found Jewel’s pricing and selection better than Dominick’s. I’m excited.

    • Dominick’s was identical to the Safeway stores we have here, but all of them recently closed. I have no idea why.

  • I just hope they keep the Social Safeway sommelier!!

  • Albertsons is the same as Safeway, Giant, Publix, Stop n’ Shop, Food Lion, Gian Eagle, Schnucks, Harris Teeter, Pathway, Kroger, A&P, Pathmark, Piggly Wiggly. . .

    • Have you ever been in a Publix? It is much better than a Safeway or Albertson’s.

      • agreed.
        safeway is one step above the A&P, piggly wiggly and food lion. but barely.

      • they’re all pretty much interchangeable. The only real difference is size (impacts product selection) and level of cleanliness. They’re all interchangeable corporate outlets for giant agro business conglomerates. No real difference whatsover.

        • Many of us find product selection and level of cleanliness to be important. Harris Teeter is certainly a notch above Safeway and Giant.
          They may be “corporate outlets for giant agribusiness conglomerates,” but they’re hardly interchangeable.

        • Yeah, no real difference whatsoever, except for the things you mentioned (size, product selection, cleanliness), which make some of them hugely different from one another. So happy for you that you’re growing all your own food.

    • The new Schnucks stores are much better than Albertsons.

  • Like Safeway, there are some nicer Shaw’s and some middling Shaw’s. I never experienced a Shaw’s anywhere near as bad as the old Petworth Safeway, however.

    The ones by BU and Copley in Boston are big and beautiful. But yeah…just a standard grocery store.

  • I lived in Brookline near the “Stah Mahket,” which anyone familiar with Brookline will know where that is. It was actually pretty nice. Small, but much nicer than any Safeway I’ve been in recently. Shaws and Star Market are subsidiaries of Albertson’s. It’s all pretty much the same company.

  • Fairway or bust!

  • I’ve been to Albertsons in Colorado (I think) and it was pretty much the standard. Most of these chains seem to be “you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all”

  • I said this when Cerberus bought Chrysler and ran that into the ground, and I’ll say it again now: nothing but good things can come from a takeover by a private equity firm named after Satan’s lap dog.

    • saf

      I find the name funny, but I have to agree with you.

      Do you remember the K-B chain of theaters? All the theaters were named after classical creatures. The Janus had two screens, the Cerberus had three…

      • I remember those theaters but – D’uh — never made the connection with the names of the theaters and the number of screens. I’m totally delighted with this factoid!

        • saf

          Towards the end, it did not hold true any more. The Janus added that little screening room around the corner with the pillar in the middle. The Cerberus split a few of the screening rooms.

          But it was accurate when they opened!

  • Cerberus bought Acme and Jewel from Supervalu which rand them into the ground. They seem to be doing a decent job with Acme–adjusting the pricing and putting money into the stores. They also bought Albertson’s which had been running horrible, overpriced stores.

  • So, basically Safeway is going to suck even more when a private equity firm takes over. Great.

  • I believe that Albertsons (Joe Albeertsons was the original name) is owned by the investment branch of the LDS (Mormon) church.

  • Safeway is just plain nasty.

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