Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 19, 2014

In the market

Filed under: Alameda, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

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.



  1. please, please, fingers crossed. would be great

    Comment by Joe — March 19, 2014 @ 6:25 am

  2. Ohhh please don’t get our hopes up only to be crushed again. To heck with the crown beach signs that are sprouting up around town. We need to organize a ranch 99 lawn sign campaign!

    Comment by Notadave — March 19, 2014 @ 7:46 am

  3. 99 would be perfect!

    Comment by Suzanne — March 19, 2014 @ 11:10 am

  4. My vote is for Mi Pueblo….

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 19, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  5. I don’t know if Mi Pueblo is in expansion mode after nearly filing for bankruptcy.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 19, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

  6. I know….it was J.E.A. dreaming… really is a treat to shop there…

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 19, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

  7. My vote is for Mi Pueblo…

    Comment by Joe — March 20, 2014 @ 7:07 am

  8. Safeway has been on survival mode since the fired destroyed their warehouse in Richmond a fire which was ……. Their move in the new loction proved to be nothing but nightmare and far most costly , for the last 6 – 7 years with barrely enough income to cover the day to day operation . This was further aggravated by poor decision in buidling stores like the one at the townwe center , they were even given great help by the City to shut down the Chevron gas and service
    station at the corner of park and Otis a gas station which was among the top 10 revenue in the entire greater east bay , I doubt the City get a fraction of that revenue at safeway and seriousely doubt of the financil solvency of that specific Safeway
    being aware the former owner of the south Shore shopping center did several economic studies , all came to the same conclusion , there was not a customer base to support such store .Did adress the City counsil at a public forum about it .
    Well over 20 years ago .
    The only reason Target might make it is because of the Customer base from Oakland .
    Like the bike lane on shoreline , the old timers were not that retarded or ill informed without lap top or smart phone .

    Comment by joel Rambaud — March 20, 2014 @ 8:37 am

  9. #8 Joel, Safeway already had a store at South Shore just in a different location. I don’t know about the warehouse in Richmond, but I am sure it was insured. Their large distribution center use to be in San Leandro which they moved to Pleasanton.
    Target I believe is mostly served by people from Alameda. It is never that busy…the exception was around Christmas. Most people in Oakland don’t even know it is there. It would be interesting to find that out the % of business that Target draws from Oakland. They have a huge fairly new Lucky’s which is nice and large by Lake Merritt in Oakland so I doubt the new Safeway wall draw many from Oakland. They have a large Walmart on one side of Oakland which is pretty much the same as Target and a Target on the Oakland/Emeryville border so why come to Alameda.
    I drove by Target yesterday on my way to Lucky’s and it appears they finally started on the infrastructure for the home sites at Alameda Landing.

    Comment by Joe — March 20, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  10. The Safeway Distribution Fire was a MASSIVE fire in Richmond in July 1988. I was working on the Railroad and was waiting along 580 at Richmond to crossover and pickup an empty coal train and watched it burn. It burned for 24 hours.
    As a result of the fire Safeway ceased all operations and moved to Tracy. Really a lot of speculation as to cause of the fire but the result was the facility in Tracy was a non-Union facility.

    Comment by frank — March 20, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

  11. Actually, Albertson’s sold the Lucky brand to Savemart (that was when the Lucky that turned into an Albertson’s turned back into a Lucky), so don’t pin too many hopes on it turning into a Ranch 99. I’d far rather have a Ranch 99 than a Safeway at this end of the island, but I guess we have to wait for the new Safeway to go in and fail first.

    Comment by Ayse — March 30, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

  12. Lucky’s is actually owned by Savemart, not Albertsons. While I don’t think the Safeway purchase will directly affect whether luckys stays or goes, I’m sure it’ll see less customers once the Safeway opens. I’m not the biggest fan of Lucky’s (although I loved the old school Lucky’s as a kid in SoCal…remember Lady Lee?) so would gladly welcome a Ranch 99 or even a Sprouts.

    Comment by Dennis — April 5, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

  13. Instead of Safeway’s, steal Local Mission Market from SF and re-brand it Local Landing Market.

    Comment by Jake — April 6, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  14. Interesting, most posters here are looking for some type of smaller, niche markets. I like that idea.

    Comment by John P. — April 6, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

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