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Save-On-Foods grocery stores in Victoria


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#21 LocalMom

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:24 AM

Oh how I hope this is true!



#22 Gary H

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:27 AM

From last summer:

Whole Foods eyes 40 more store openings in Canada

http://business.fina...anadian-stores/


Edited by Gary H, 11 February 2014 - 09:27 AM.


#23 aastra

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:28 AM

So why exactly is Safeway obliged to abandon that particular location?

 

The stores cannot be closed and must be sold as working grocery stores.

 

There could be several potential buyers for the Greater Victoria stores, including Jim Pattison’s grocery banners such as Save On Foods. Quality Foods might be interested; the Island chain is penetrating the Greater Victoria market next year with a store in the former Ashley Furniture outlet in Langford



#24 sdwright.vic

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:34 PM

If we are basing things on demographics, then T&T would be a excellant replacement for Uni Heights.
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#25 bluefox

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:30 PM

As I've said in a previous thread, I don't know if Victoria is a big enough market for a Whole Foods. Certainly, if it was to go anywhere, Foul Bay would make the most sense, so, as a rumour, it's credible. But WFM does have conditional requirements when they enter a new market -- there needs to be a minimum number of households with $100K+ in income, within a certain radius of the potential store location, for them to consider it viable. Though, on the other hand, they have found a lot of success so far in Vancouver, regardless of the income and population criteria, because they're really just pushing a lifestyle that fits well with the people who live here.

 

(Edited for clarity:) The income requirement is part of the reason why they've been quite conservative so far in their Canadian foray (four stores in Vancouver and four in Toronto), and why it would be the big question mark for WFM in any potential expansion to Victoria. They should be expanding to Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal before they consider Victoria.

 

But T&T could definitely make sense in a few places.


Edited by bluefox, 11 February 2014 - 05:37 PM.

(Not the owner of, nor am I associated with, the Blue Fox Café, in any way.)

#26 Mike K.

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:55 PM

With 40 additional stores planned across Canada surely at least one will be viable here.

 

Thrifty's is already an expensive chain and they're home-grown.


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#27 Redd42

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:05 PM

If we are basing things on demographics, then T&T would be a excellant replacement for Uni Heights.

 

Ooh, I would love a T&T too...again for the hot prepared foods....the Fairwary in Quadra Village must be one of the busiest grocery stores in Victoria...I know the main reason I go to that location is the salad bar and mini food court set up....



#28 LocalMom

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:24 PM

Wait - what is T&T?! (I should know this...?!)



#29 LJ

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:41 PM

^Asian cuisine, fresh fruits veggies etc. and cooked/hot foods.


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#30 Redd42

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:42 PM

Wait - what is T&T?! (I should know this...?!)

 

http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/en/

 

Think Fairway on Quadra but MUCH bigger and with almost entirely asian foods....I have wonderful memories of roast pork from the one in Burnaby...


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#31 bluefox

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:10 AM

With 40 additional stores planned across Canada surely at least one will be viable here.

 

Thrifty's is already an expensive chain and they're home-grown.

 

Keyword, though, is "planned". Like I said, there are several larger cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal, that do not have any stores yet. Each of them could easily support at least four stores -- Calgary and Montreal even moreso -- and a few of those planned 40 are stores in Vancouver or Toronto, a few of which are already under construction. I remember reading somewhere prior to this "40 stores" strategy that Whole Foods wanted at least 20-30 total stores in Vancouver and Toronto by 2020, so the two strategies could be interchangeable.

 

I'm not saying it's at all out of the question, I would just be surprised to see them in Victoria when there are still a lot of bigger fishes to fry. Let's face it, the only reason this rumour is even coming up, right at this particular moment, is as a consequence of the Sobeys acquisition, and the Competition Bureau's decision and sale conditions. The stores have to stay open and operating as grocery stores, under other companies. That presents an opportunity to a lot of chains to expand into markets they might not otherwise consider. I can't see Whole Foods going into Victoria in the next 3-5 years under any other circumstances.

 

On the other hand, a freshly-renovated store like Foul Bay would probably be the best fit for Whole Foods if it were to expand into Victoria. It even looks somewhat like a Whole Foods store now with the wood and black painted exterior.

 

Either way, this is great news to see WFM expanding. They really do provide one of the best grocery shopping experiences in the country in terms of product quality, selection and customer service, and their stores are always bustling with people, they're bright, they're well-stocked and are always clean. The only drawback is the prices are noticeably higher, though that could change as their scale ramps up to due to expansion.


(Not the owner of, nor am I associated with, the Blue Fox Café, in any way.)

#32 aastra

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:48 AM

This is from October, 2012:

 

Whole Foods Speeds Up Canadian Expansion Plans:

 

The purveyor of everything from organic dairy products to beeswax candles expects to open two to three new stores each year for at least the next five years, and is looking at real estate in Victoria, Ontario and Alberta.



#33 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

I don't buy the argument that before Victoria will get a store like Whole Foods larger cities must get them first. People have to eat, and if the 50,000 people who live within a short distance of Foul Bay and Fort are used to shopping at the Safeway and are in a higher income bracket then that's enough to make a store like WF viable.

 

Locating a grocery store in Calgary or Edmonton or Ottawa doesn't mean it has a target audience of ~1 million people, it just means that there's more variety and competition for that 1 million people and WF would be competing with Urban Fare and whatnot. In Victoria WF will have a relative monopoly and is likely more lucrative for the company.


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#34 jonny

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:26 PM

Whole Foods would do a killing in Victoria, IMO.

 

The Foul Bay Safeway location is up for grabs, and Whole Foods has expressed an interest in expanding, so it certainly wouldn't be a shock to see them in the mix.



#35 bluefox

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:46 PM

Whole Foods would do a killing in Victoria, IMO.

 

The Foul Bay Safeway location is up for grabs, and Whole Foods has expressed an interest in expanding, so it certainly wouldn't be a shock to see them in the mix.

 

There are definitely a lot of pros for WFM to expand to Victoria but again is the market size big enough? Are people in Victoria going to be willing to pay Whole Foods prices? I think Victorians might have a lot of the same consumption behaviours as their Vancouver counterparts - going for fresh, local, organic, quality - but they also tend to be a lot more frugal with their grocery budgets. The WFM business model basically says it's one or the other.

 

 

 

I don't buy the argument that before Victoria will get a store like Whole Foods larger cities must get them first. People have to eat, and if the 50,000 people who live within a short distance of Foul Bay and Fort are used to shopping at the Safeway and are in a higher income bracket then that's enough to make a store like WF viable.

 

Mike, nobody is saying people in Victoria don't eat. :P

 

What I'm saying is it's more likely that WFM's target demographic exists in a larger centre like Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa or Montreal. I'm not saying Victoria should have to wait because it's smaller, I'm saying because their expansion strategy into Canada has been pretty conservative, they will go into larger markets because they're more likely to get the number of people or households who match their target demographic.

 

There's a reason why they chose West Vancouver and Oakville as two of their first store locations. Demographics, income, affluence.


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#36 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:24 PM

The demographics of Oak Bay/east Victoria/southeast Saanich are exactly what they're looking for. And plenty of people will drive in from other parts of the city to check the store out and add it to their list of grocery options.

 

If this region can support a chain of Lifestyle Markets and two "Markets" (Yates and Millstream) we can handle a Whole Foods :)


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#37 jonny

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:25 PM

There are definitely a lot of pros for WFM to expand to Victoria but again is the market size big enough? Are people in Victoria going to be willing to pay Whole Foods prices? I think Victorians might have a lot of the same consumption behaviours as their Vancouver counterparts - going for fresh, local, organic, quality - but they also tend to be a lot more frugal with their grocery budgets. The WFM business model basically says it's one or the other.

 

Absolutely. It just depends if they can identify enough of their target market here to justify placing a store here. Victoria is small enough that customers would come from Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay to a Victoria location.

 

A typical grocery store's target market can't be much bigger than 10,000 people. Whole Foods is more of a boutique model with higher margins and smaller stores, so I’d guess their target markets are even smaller than your typical grocery outlet.

 

You do make a good point though, Victorians are cheap.



#38 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:46 PM

You do make a good point though, Victorians are cheap.

 

I dunno, we do support a chain of Lifestyle Markets and several independent grocers that are definitely not cheap. Thrifty's is the most expensive of the big four grocery chains yet they have the most stores throughout the region (some operating 24 hours).

 

When it comes to food Victorians dish out the cash. When it comes to cars and clothing, not so much.


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#39 jonny

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:16 PM

^ You have a point.

 

Victorians are definitely not fussed about fashion!



#40 aastra

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:44 PM

Say what about cars? Are you kidding me?


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