Thursday, March 6, 2014

Retail shakeup affects Bend

With news that the investment company that bought Albertsons last year and appears to be buying Safeway, it's safe to say that grocery prices will soon rise here.

Also, Staples, which is on Bend's north end, could close since the company announced it would be shutting down 225 outlets. The Bend Staples doesn't seem to generate much business.

And, Radio Shack said this week it would shutter 1,100 stores. Again, the one in Bend doesn't attract a ton of customer and could be one of those to close.

Losing Staples or Radio Shack would be no great loss.

However, having Safeway become more like Albertsons would be terrible.

First off, Albertsons stores, at least in Bend, are small with pathetic produce sections. Plus, the new owners got rid of the Albertsons card and raised prices across the board.

Walmart has set the bar so low for supermarkets that the other chains are in a race to the bottom.

This will help Trader Joe's on the high end of the market and the Grocery Outlet on the low end.

Fred Meyer, in spite of its grumpy staff, should become the go-to market for everyone else.

Also, Food 4 Less should hold onto to its customer base, at least for the time being.

The retail shakeup is expected since we still haven't recovered from the Great Recession.

We can expect more consolidations and closings in the future since corporations expanded recklessly during the boom years, not to satisfy customer demand, but to show stockholders that they were growing.

This is what happens when business serves the interests of the stockholder before the customer.

The chickens have come home to roost. And they will, in all those empty buildings.

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