Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ralphs, Albertsons

When I moved to Long Beach in 1994, I stayed with my daughter and her guy on Redondo Avenue at Pacific Coast Highway. She did not like the Ralphs grocery store on Anaheim at Redondo ~ dirty. She would prefer to drive to Vons at the PCH circle or to Lucky's at 7th Street & Redondo. Later Albertsons bought Lucky's.

The first jobs I had in California were grocery store resets and other merchandising jobs. When I started working part time at Associated Accessories Inc., I still did the other merchandising jobs. AAI was basically jewelry; serviced fixtures at stores like Thrifty (later bought by Rite Aid), K-Mart, and Wal-mart. When AAI bought Foster Grant, we acquired stores like Albertsons, Vons and Ralphs. Full circle ~ I had stopped the other merchandising jobs at those type stores when I became a full time supervisor for AAI.

I did not mind shopping at the dirty Ralphs ~ cheap prices. I spent some overnights in that store doing resets. Less so at the 7th Street Albertsons. Now both of those stores are closing. When I moved into this apartment complex, one of the pluses was having a grocery store just about right around the corner and another one a few blocks south. Ralphs underwent some changes ~ much cleaner and higher prices.

I am going to miss both stores when they close. Rumor has it that Food for Less is taking over the Ralph's location. But how long will it be before they open? Albertsons will be closing in December. Ralphs, this week. I was dismayed the other day when I went to Ralphs ~ the shelves are all but empty.  Neighbor Mike told me that is because they shipped the products to their store on PCH or 4th Street ~ due to offering 25% off on all merchandise. Great. I could not get things I was shopping for ~ things that cost more at Albertsons.

I can walk to a grocery store on 10th Street at Cherry Avenue. Still a long way to go to pick up a quart of milk. Walgreens, Rite Aid, 7/11, ampm milk prices much too high. Can often get eggs cheap at Walgreens; not so, anymore, instant coffee.

A mistake the company that owns Albertsons made was this: there is a senior apartment complex across the street ~ in addition to other complexes. My mother is brand loyal. If the seniors in that building are like her, the store would lose business by changing products.

Example: My mother only ever used Campbell's Pork & Beans. I counted about 30 different types of beans at Albertsons ~ not a one was Campbell's. I am thinking maybe Campbell's went out of business ~ seems the standard Campbell's soups have dwindled as well. I would guess the store keeps records and would know if all those new different types of beans are selling. I tend to get the store brand pork & beans, like vegetarian beans, do not use the other types ~ if I am making soup, I am getting dried navy pea beans, not a can of them. Never one for black beans and the other varieties.

I no longer have a stove or oven to make baked beans ~ I did buy ~ on sale ~ various baked bean products when either Ralphs or Albertsons had them. Vandecamps beans are gone also. I would be spending more $$$ at both stores if they had beans I want to buy. I would also spend more $$$ if prices on everyday stuff had not risen so drastically.

So neither store was making enough profit to keep them open ~ perhaps if they catered to their customers they would have done okay. I used to shop at the Ralphs on 4th Street at times when I lived on Broadway or 7th Street. Now it will be easier to shop at that store on Cherry or take bus downtown to a predominately Mexican store for my grocery needs.

It is sad to me, though, those two stores have been part of my life since 1994.

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