Bit of old news, but last week Safeway was purchased by the same company that owns Albertsons aka Lucky stores, which means that the chances of the Lucky staying open once the Alameda Landing Safeway opens is pretty slim.
Of course I’m still hoping that if the Lucky closes an Asian market will swoop in and take over the space. After all, that’s kind of how Asian markets like 99 Ranch work. You almost never see a brand new 99 Ranch, it’s almost always in old supermarkets that have failed (for whatever reason) and there is a strong enough Asian population to support a 99 Ranch.
I remember when I was lulled into the belief that the old Del Monte building was going to have an Asian grocery store. It even had a leasing company attached to it that primarily dealt in Asian retailers. See why I can’t ever get excited about anything at the Del Monte building…
The positive thing if Lucky were to turn into a 99 Ranch is that where a 99 Ranch goes, other businesses follow, from an old LA Times article:
Some businesses even follow the 99 Ranch Market to new locations to piggyback on its vast clientele. One businessman who has followed some 99 Ranch Markets is Victor Kuo, who owns a chain of cosmetics stores called Vitativ, which stocks such products as Clinique, Christian Dior and Shiseido but caters almost exclusively to Asian customers who prefer not to shop at mainstream department stores because of language barriers.
Plus you always see Sheng Kee Bakeries and oftentimes a Goldilocks around where there are 99 Ranch markets. This would revitalize that really sad shopping center if even half of the businesses that generally follow a 99 Ranch decided to relocate.
Given the growing Asian population in Alameda, plus the reluctance of people to shop in Oakland Chinatown — it really is quite a drag trying to get anything in Oakland Chinatown, plus my favorite little small market closed down so I have no favorite Oakland Chinatown market anymore — a 99 Ranch could be very successful. Because even as much as traditional grocers try to carry some Asian products, it will never be complete and it will never be sufficient.