Thursday, December 14, 2023

Hi Marin retail folks

 Hey there! Sorry about the past ten years! Did I miss anything?

I'm thinking that I might need to update a few of these posts. Retailing in Marin ain't what it used to be!

Let me know in the comments if you've noticed anything new.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sprouts Farmers Market coming to Mill Valley

Great news for Tam Valley residents:  Mill Valley Patch reports that the long-vacant market at Tam Junction is soon to be occupied by Sprouts Farmers Market.  The store was previously occupied by DeLano's, who went out of business and closed the store in 2010.

Sprouts is a fast expanding chain of grocery stores that first expanded into Northern California in 2010.  The focus is on fresh produce, with a range of conventional and organic lines, together with other basic grocery items.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dozens of new stores open in San Rafael (actually only one: Target)

This weekend I went for a first look at the great new clothing store in San Rafael.  Then I visited the new shoe store, and also checked out the new sporting goods store, the new toy store, home furnishings store, electronics store, music store, book store and cycle store.  Oh, and then I picked up some groceries at the new grocery store and a few items at the new pharmacy, and took a well-earned rest at the new coffee shop.

Of course, as you have probably guessed, all these new stores are actually components of just one store, the gargantuan Target Supercenter, that now sits by the edge of San Rafael Bay next to that other great retail megastore, Home Depot.

And very pretty the new store looks too, with abundant plantings and brightly painted curbs in the car park, and a quite stunning vista overlooking the Bay, best appreciated from one of the comfy couches in the Starbucks concession.

Inside the store is shiny and bright and very familiar to anyone who has ever been in a Target store. The staff are friendly and efficient and the shelves are well stocked.

And because it is a Supercenter you can buy everything you need here, which is great news for those people in southern and central Marin that like shopping that way, but not so great news for the owners of other stores in the area whose sales will shrink as a result.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paradise Foods opens at The Cove, Tiburon

Paradise Foods has recently opened at The Cove Shopping Center in Tiburon.  More than four years after the old DeLano's Market closed it's doors the residents of 94920 have finally been rewarded for their patience.  The store is light and airy, with Paradise Foods' characteristic hardwood floors, nicely-presented displays, and very smart checkout staff.

As with the other locations, expect to see most of the action around the deli counter and the excellent range of pre-prepared foods, including the great entrees that are made in the kitchen.  This store also has a burrito bar.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Marin retail sales climb back above 2008 level

It's taken a long time, but it looks like the retail sector in Marin has finally recovered from the recession.  In April the 3-month rolling average 1% sales tax distributed in Marin County was $2.75M, the highest level for six years.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confirmed: Fresh & Easy's owners will sell and exit

Fresh & Easy, the West Coast US small-format market, is to be sold.  As expected, the store's British owners, supermarket giant Tesco, have decided to cut their losses and exit the US.  An announcement today on the store's website stated:
As many of you have heard or read today, our parent company Tesco updated on the future of Fresh & Easy.  While we don’t yet know who our new owner will ultimately be, Tesco has already received interest from a number of parties including groups looking to purchase Fresh & Easy as an operating business.  We appreciate all the support and love we’ve received from our loyal customers and even though our parent company plans to leave the US, we’re pleased to confirm there are no plans to close any portion of Fresh & Easy.
Fresh & Easy had bad luck from the start, launching the operations in southern California, Arizona and Nevada just as these areas were being impacted by the housing crisis and recession. .  As they aggressively rolled out the concept, they made poor real estate decisions that resulted in store locations in the wrong areas for their target demographic. The concept was different from their competitors, but not in a way that appealed to customers. The use of self-checkouts and the heavy reliance on obscure or home brands were not popular with US shoppers.

The chain had just begun its expansion into the Bay Area when it announced its review of operations last year.  Plans for its first Marin store at the Cove Shopping Center in Tiburon were hastily abandoned (the site is now to be occupied by local operator Paradise Foods).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is Safeway eyeing Larkspur?

It passed under the radar earlier this year, but the ownership of the property currently occupied by Lucky's Market in downtown Larkspur changed hands in March. The new owner, who picked up the property for just $4.0 million, is Vons, otherwise known as Safeway.