retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Altos Town Crier has a story about the remodeling of four Safeway Community Market locations - two in Berkeley, one in San Anselmo and one in Los Altos - that used to be called Andronico's as recently as 2016, when the company was bought by Safeway.

And now, they're being rebranded. As Andronico's.

“Over the past few years, we’ve listened to and learned what is most important to our customers and employees to retain the unique character and charm of Andronico’s and set it apart from traditional Safeway stores,” Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall tells the Crier.. “We’re excited for the opportunity to make some changes and enhance the customer experience, while creating an eclectic, upbeat neighborhood hub for feeding a healthy lifestyle."

The process of resetting the store will result in specialty foods that used to be typical of Andronico's to be brought back, with private label Safeway items and bargain items being sold off to make room for them.
KC's View:
It will be interesting to see how these new Andronico's stores reflect the banner's storied history while still being price sensitive enough not to completely disenfranchise the shoppers who have been patronizing them as Safeway stores.

I hope that the company is smart enough not to dilute the Andronico's brand equity, which still has some value after all these years. Just using the name doesn't make these stores Andronico's … there has to be a commitment to food culture that will serve as a differential strategic advantage.

If it works .. it could be a powerful new format for Albertsons/Safeway.