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whoa!!!! good for all the montrose folks!  this was the smartest decision they could have made in my opinion! 

the Randall's at San Felipe and Sage isn't going anywhere anytime soon. they are in the process of completely redoing all their floors and should be done probably by the end of July. It actually looks

Oddly enough, I think the Coronavirus has been the saving grace of Randalls for 2020.   My friends mostly live in the suburbs and go to Kroger and HEB. Whereas I live off Westheimer and S. G

Said Mark Hamstra, retail editor at Supermarket News, a trade publication, "It's widely thought in the industry that Safeway didn't manage its acquisition of Randalls well at first, and since it's such a competitive field, it's very difficult to play catch-up once you've fallen behind."

i guess that sums it all up :mellow:

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i guess that sums it all up :mellow:

You bet. Safeway really sucks. Always had. They failed when they were in Houston originally. Couldn't compete with Randalls. When the Randall family decided to sell out, they sold to Safeway. Since safeway took over Randalls they pretty much ran it inot the ground. Crappy service - Crappy selection. Folks voted with their feet. It was only a matter of time since Safeway took over.

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Then their is this quote:

"The Pleasanton, Calif.-based grocer is focusing its efforts on its "lifestyle remodel" program that includes the introduction of more upscale products."

Upscale products is code for higher prices for fancier packaging. As if prices weren't increasing enough on their own. Just another reason I haven't been in a Randalls in years....and won't soon start.

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I agree, randalls just sucks now. The only thing I really like from there are their french baguettes. They scrapped Boar's head meats for their own safeway line and that was basically what did it for me not really buying anything there. Their prices always sucked, the refused to modernize, no lines were open during rush times (which led to the lack of rush times as well). I know people are split on whether or not the self checkout is worth using, but if I need just one thing, usually its faster to go through there than wait on some 16 year old in training.

I agree HEB is my favorite, but I don't mind a signature kroger, and then also Central Market for the specialty things, which is of course owned by HEB. Not sure how that new Super Target will be near the Heights.

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We shopped the Midtown Randalls becuase Disco Kroger is WAY too dirty.

But I knew things were bad when all the Safeway products started making their way onto the shelves.

I'll take HEB any day of the week vs. all of the other.

The disco Kroger had a makeover and is a little nicer now. HEB is the best. Just wish they had a nice new one in the Heights area.

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Well, they're just a little too slow with introducing those "upscale products" 'cause when they took over, I never saw them! The old Randall's was run RIGHT and is what made them #1 in this market--the fact that Safeway bought them and they dropped to #4 should have told them something a long time ago.

A bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The old model worked....the Onstead family should have held on a little longer. I bet HEB would have bought them.

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The two Randall's that Safeway remodeled last year into the new concept are really nice stores, but it was too late and too little to recover from the damage that was done in the early days of the Safeway takeover.

I do miss the days when Randall's was locally owned, and had great management that did things like making sure all checkout lines were open during the busiest times of day. I think there is a place for a more upscale grocery concept between the discounters that stock nothing more than the basics and the really upscale like Whole Foods and Central Market. Maybe Randall's can recapture this position if Safeway acts quickly to fix some of its problems here and gets the stores that aren't closing remodeled into the new concept VERY quickly. But if they can't pull that off, then count on more Randall's closings, and eventually, the death of the chain.

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A bit off topic, but not much since we are still talking grocery stores....anyone know the story of Sellers Bros.? Who owns it and how long has it been around?

I had never been to one of them until last month and I was pleasantly surprised. I went to the one at Stella Link and S. Braeswood. The store size is not like an HEB warehouse where you walk a 1/4 mile to get frozen goods on the other side of the store. The thing of most note was how many employees were on the sales floor. In produce there were 3 guys working. I saw 2 others in other aeras. Considering the fact that the total sq. footage of the store is probably around 10,000 this was amazing.

I don't usually do the shopping in my house so I don't know what prices were like compared to other stores. Overall it was good and a nice throwback to the days when stores were a sane size.

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Westheimer and Dairy Ashford Randalls is going byebye. so much for another grocery store in that area (Krogers moved out long ago)

So all that's left is "Spirit" halloween store AND Petsmart as major stores and "Mi Amigos"

So where are people in that area to go shopping.HEB, SuperWalmart?

Convert that Randalls to a CLEANER bigger TARGET!!!!! with food!

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I've heard its 26 Randall's Stores.

The one over here in front of Longwood is a beautiful store with a stone facade. Built not too long ago. It's closing. (I would love to see an HEB move in, but doubt it'll happen)

Very sad. What will become of all of these hulking stores (Randall's, Eckerd's, Albertson's, old Wal-Marts)? Are these deep-pocketed companies, simply going to sit on these properties and refuse to allow a competitor to move in? Meanwhile we have huge dead retail (that could flourish) sitting in front of our neigborhoods?

Is there some sort of law that can restrict this kind of thing?

Edited by mrfootball
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Our local Randall's (Meyer Park) has already been converted to the "Lifestyle" format.

What's it like?

Try to imagine a Kroger Signature store with much, much dimmer lighting and much, much higher prices.

:P:P:P I stopped shopping at Randalls years ago when it became apparent to me I was more likely to be charged a higher price than that advertised or posted on the shelves at Randalls than at all other chains combined.

I understood that Randalls really botched the takeover of Collum (?) of Dallas, especially in Central Texas. If they were so well run, why did they have to bring in the Japanese takeover firm and then sell to Safeway? I suspect the chain was going downhill for a long time before the Onstead's bailed and they didn't have much choice in the matter.

A bit off topic, but not much since we are still talking grocery stores....anyone know the story of Sellers Bros.? Who owns it and how long has it been around?

I had never been to one of them until last month and I was pleasantly surprised. I went to the one at Stella Link and S. Braeswood. The store size is not like an HEB warehouse where you walk a 1/4 mile to get frozen goods on the other side of the store. The thing of most note was how many employees were on the sales floor. In produce there were 3 guys working. I saw 2 others in other aeras. Considering the fact that the total sq. footage of the store is probably around 10,000 this was amazing.

I don't usually do the shopping in my house so I don't know what prices were like compared to other stores. Overall it was good and a nice throwback to the days when stores were a sane size.

Don't know anything about them but I'll have to try that one. I used to have an HEB Pantry within a mile and I loved it for most shopping, with an occasional trip to Kroger Sig or CM for specialty items. I prefer to make several small trips rather than one big one. Now, there's an HEB Warehouse about 10 miles round trip. When you're shopping for one and buying mainly perishable fresh produce, bread, meats, etc., rather than a basketfull of canned stuff, warehouse stores are a big pain in the ___

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That Seller Brothers is horrible! (well the location isn't the best either). I have a backpack purse and they told me to leave it at customer service. Not like I was going to steal anything but I guess in that neighborhood they weren't taking chances. I usually go to the little dollar store next door for a phone card.

The Randalls on Westheimer/Dairy Ashford wasn't too bad either. It was pretty big and not at all dumpy. It will be weird to see it gone.

Randalls had good selections but horrible high prices.

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Maybe it's just me, but I don't get all this stuff about merchandise in Randall's being ridiculously priced. I've never felt like they were overcharging me, and I've never noticed much, if any, difference in my grocery bill when shopping at a Randall's versus HEB. Maybe it's just the stuff I buy.

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omg! Randalls is horribly overpriced. What do you buy when you go to Randalls?

I can spent $15 on 5-10 items at HEB and spend on the same 5-10 items $45-50 at Randalls.

HEB is really cheap on the basics, but if you want anything else, other than what is an advertised special that week, then you pay for it.

I have found that my bill is cheaper at Kroger's...for my regular product mix.

And my bill at Randall's is outrageous...well the last time I went there...maybe a year ago.

I think it just depends on what you buy and what brands you buy...or won't buy.

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Closest Kroger's to me is near Gessner..too far to travel. HEB is across the street and Randalls (on both ends I got Dairy Ashford or Wilcrest)

but for small food stores.. "Food Town" is also pretty reasonable! I go there in Sugar Land.

if anyone has gone to Food Town on Eldridge in Sugar Land. Check out the cashiers hair. Her name is "Deb". Its like something that came out of the 80's. (the hair!)

its VERY recognizable!

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I agree with the person that said there is a place for upscale markets here, and the time could be right for small-time Rice Epicurean to gain on Whole Foods and Central Market. If they don't, they might be the next to go. I have ALWAYS loved that store, and even though it's pricey, you GET what you pay for....plus they have so many unusual things, too, and delicious food ready-made in their deli. I love supporting a Houston store like Rice. We go to the one at Lantern Lane often and enjoy the perfect-looking produce! Best in town and most from American farms!

Edited by Parrothead
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Yeah, the Randall's near me did not close. A whole bunch of grocery stores are near where I live. This includes:

* 2 Randall's

* 2 Krogers

* 1 Rice

* 1 Whole Foods

* 1 Fiesta

* 1 Davis Food City

* 1 Seller Brothers

Edited by VicMan
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omg! Randalls is horribly overpriced. What do you buy when you go to Randalls?

I can spent $15 on 5-10 items at HEB and spend on the same 5-10 items $45-50 at Randalls.

Well these days I don't do a lot of grocery shopping because it's just not worth it when you're home only two or three nights a week. But back in the days when I had the time to cook most nights I bought a lot of raw ingredients and tried to focus on organics and healthier items as much as possible. So that's probably why I didn't see much price difference, because I wasn't shopping based on price as much as I was on quality. I used to also be a big coupon shopper, and with a Randall's card and double and triple coupons, prices on the everyday advertised items (the ones where stores try to undercut each other and compete on price) aren't so bad at Randall's. I also shopped a lot at the Westchase/Royal Oaks HEB after it opened when I lived in Westchase. I refused to go in the nasty HEB Pantry it replaced, and I don't shop in Wal-Mart for a variety of other reasons that are apparent if you do a search on this board. But I rarely saw much difference between the cost of my shopping at the Westchase Randall's versus the HEB a mile down the street. Honestly, most stores are going to charge about the same price on 85-90% of their products, because those items aren't considered to be as price sensitive. The other 10-15% of inventory are the items where people compare prices and have a better idea of what something "should" cost. Those are also the items that get heavily advertised.

I do miss having a nice HEB in my neighborhood now. They do carry some great products that aren't available elsewhere. And their newer, non-Pantry stores are very nice and well-kept. I do venture out to the Westheimer/Fountainview store on occassion, even though it's a bit of a drive just to buy groceries.

Most of my shopping now is at Randall's, Whole Foods, and Central Market -- but as I said, I don't do a lot of grocery shopping these days in Houston since I spend more nights in other cities than I do at home.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let me save you a trip. I live very close to the Sellers Brothers and wont step foot in there. It's scary. Our neighborhood, which is comprised of homes ranging from 250K-700K, is trying very hard to get a better store in there. That whole block is scary and I don't know who shops there but I wish they would quit! I predict a Starbucks coming... (oh wait, there's already one at Bellaire & Stella Link, but again, this is Starbucks we're talking about). You know, this IS Houston. No zoning mecca. HEB is the way to go.

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As reported in the Chronicle: (link)

It seems excessive, but then I feared this would happen when I watched all the customers head to HEB.

Eegads, I can't stand HEB. Its all generic brands and I've had 4 rotten meat experiences there. I have no sense of smell, so one incident sent me to the ER. Fortunately the other 3 times people were there to smell it.

Strange they can't carry the same quality meats and produce as their Central MArket locations.

Kroger is ok, but the produce is awful.

I shop the Randalls up here. There really isn't much choice for me, pay a little more or puke.

Well, they're just a little too slow with introducing those "upscale products" 'cause when they took over, I never saw them! The old Randall's was run RIGHT and is what made them #1 in this market--the fact that Safeway bought them and they dropped to #4 should have told them something a long time ago.

A bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The old model worked....the Onstead family should have held on a little longer. I bet HEB would have bought them.

Are they closing the one at Voss and Woodway? The employees really made that store. They all stayed after the buyout.

Edited by KatieDidIt
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that area is very mixed socioeconomically...most of the 700k homeowners probably don't exactly know where "those other people" live though

Don't the "other people" live in apartment complexes?

And my mom and I love Seller Brothers!

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Here's my secret source for good, fresh produce: Spec's in Midtown. I know it sounds weird but they have the freshest vegetables we've found-and usual comparable-if not a little cheaper than Randalls and Kroger.

I've asked the guys there where they buy their produce but they play dumb...I would too!

B)

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  • 1 year later...

RUMOR

A source that services the grocery industry tells me that Randall's is suffering and may be re-evaluating the midtown location. Has anyone else heard anything? That would be a major blow to DT/MT residential if that were to close. I'm thinking Kroger on West Gray or Fiesta on Fannin are the closest grocers otherwise? I can't imagine that would stay vacant too long until Kroger or HEB moved in. It is always busy when I go there.

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if they are having problems why would you expect kroger or HEB to move in?

I don't know how these things are done, but maybe it would be cheaper for another chain because they wouldn't have the leftover debt from building the store in the first place?

Or if the building is owned by a developer, maybe a new store would be in a stronger position to negotiate lower lease rates from the building owner since it seems to be a building that is pretty custom-designed for grocery use.

Again, it's obvious that I'm not in real estate. Perhaps someone who is can say something more intelligent.

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if they are having problems why would you expect kroger or HEB to move in?

I still believe it's a viable location. I can't imagine that a store couldn't do well servicing the DT/MT market. Plus, I'm willing to wager there are a number of residents that still drive out to the Kroger on West Gray because Randalls tends to be a bit pricier, because they try to be an "upscale" grocery store, whatever that is. The brand hasn't been doing well either, so I wonder how much that has to do with success/failure of this location. If nothing else, Wal Mart Neighborhood Market makes sense like the one that opened in 2005 (?) in Uptown Dallas right off of 75.

Again, nothing but a rumor, that I hope to be not true since I do all of my shopping there, and am there at least 2-3 times a week.

Randalls on Wikipedia "Stores in the Randalls and Tom Thumb chains tend to be slightly more upscale and expensive than competitors such as Kroger... In early 2005, Safeway was rumored to be attempting to sell the then 138-store Randall's division. Instead, Safeway announced by the end of the year it would close 15 Randall's stores in the Houston area, one in Austin, and nine Tom Thumb stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.Following the closures Randall's/Tom Thumb operated 62 stores in Dallas, 36 in Houston and 14 in Austin. Safeway said the move would revitalize the Texas division and that it planned to remodel stores to fit its "Lifestyle" format and introduce proprietary products."

Edited by CSOM
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I still believe it's a viable location. I can't imagine that a store couldn't do well servicing the DT/MT market. Plus, I'm willing to wager there are a number of residents that still drive out to the Kroger on West Gray because Randalls tends to be a bit pricier, because they try to be an "upscale" grocery store, whatever that is.
i hear people here talking about how whole foods and central market are sooooo good that that is the only place they shop for groceries. with your comment on the Kroger, it just makes me think that people in midtown are "picky" about their shopping and a plain Randall's just won't do it. I know at least one person in my neighborhood (pecan park) who shops at whole foods. his profile begins with a D and ends with an ANAX. ;)
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i hear people here talking about how whole foods and central market are sooooo good that that is the only place they shop for groceries. with your comment on the Kroger, it just makes me think that people in midtown are "picky" about their shopping and a plain Randall's just won't do it. I know at least one person in my neighborhood (pecan park) who shops at whole foods. his profile begins with a D and ends with an ANAX. ;)

I went to Whole Foods for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I found it very stressful. The whole thing seemed unnecessarily complicated, and instead of having two or three or four choices for a product there are 15 or 20 each from another tiny little company you've never heard of.

People have told me they could spend all day shopping at Whole Foods. They meant it in a good way. I agree with them in a bad way.

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Midtown Randall's is the closest store to me, but I avoid it for all but pharmacy purchases. The service is terrible, the selection isn't that great (we have been spoiled by Kroger on Gray), and I grow tired of being asked for money by the people that they let loiter in the parking lot.

I don't know if they are more expensive than Kroger, but there is more to grocery shopping than prices. Service is really important to me, and I don't think their front end staff does a good job (must be tough to get decent checkers and baggers these days). I especially dislike that they attempt to call me by my name. It isn't providing personal service when you can read it off the receipt!

I would love to see another chain (especially HEB) take it over.

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Guest danax
I know at least one person in my neighborhood (pecan park) who shops at whole foods. his profile begins with a D and ends with an ANAX. ;)

I'd bet I'm the only one too, but it's not like I run across town to shop, I just stop on the way home from work once a week or so, unless I run out of food on the weekend. Shopping is fast and easy when you enter the store knowing exactly what you want. I buy the exact same thing every time, and the other grocers don't have those items for the most part, except for fruit.

I go to Randall's in Midtown once in awhile for weekend snacks since it's much closer than WF and has some "health food" items that HEB lacks. It seems no different than a signature Krogers so I wonder if even the grocers themselves ever really figure out why people will drive farther to shop somewhere where everything appears almost identical. I agree with travelguy that being panhandled, even by "legitimate" groups trying to sell something, might cause me to avoid a place.

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i hear people here talking about how whole foods and central market are sooooo good that that is the only place they shop for groceries. with your comment on the Kroger, it just makes me think that people in midtown are "picky" about their shopping and a plain Randall's just won't do it. I know at least one person in my neighborhood (pecan park) who shops at whole foods. his profile begins with a D and ends with an ANAX. ;)

I would think a lot of people are picky about their shopping. When I lived in Minneapolis there was an "upscale" grocery store right next door that I never went to because Cub Foods was much cheaper. That's sort of the Randall's/Kroger comparison.

As for the pan-handling, I'm not sure when you go, but like I said I'm there all the time and I'm never bugged really by anyone. If I am I just ignore it and keep walking. Really it's no different than being hassled at other stores by school groups, etc. that I couldn't care less about. They still want my money and are bugging me for it.

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I still believe it's a viable location. I can't imagine that a store couldn't do well servicing the DT/MT market. Plus, I'm willing to wager there are a number of residents that still drive out to the Kroger on West Gray because Randalls tends to be a bit pricier, because they try to be an "upscale" grocery store, whatever that is. The brand hasn't been doing well either, so I wonder how much that has to do with success/failure of this location. If nothing else, Wal Mart Neighborhood Market makes sense like the one that opened in 2005 (?) in Uptown Dallas right off of 75.

Again, nothing but a rumor, that I hope to be not true since I do all of my shopping there, and am there at least 2-3 times a week.

Randalls on Wikipedia "Stores in the Randalls and Tom Thumb chains tend to be slightly more upscale and expensive than competitors such as Kroger... In early 2005, Safeway was rumored to be attempting to sell the then 138-store Randall's division. Instead, Safeway announced by the end of the year it would close 15 Randall's stores in the Houston area, one in Austin, and nine Tom Thumb stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Following the closures Randall's/Tom Thumb operated 62 stores in Dallas, 36 in Houston and 14 in Austin. Safeway said the move would revitalize the Texas division and that it planned to remodel stores to fit its "Lifestyle" format and introduce proprietary products."

I would have a real hard time thinking of Randalls as being "upscale." They were once, but now they're just Safeway under a different name. The brand has been failing I think not because they are too expensive - look at how well Whole Foods or Central Market does - but because Randall's/Safeway lacks the selection and just seems less of an enjoyable shopping experience as Kroger on West Gray (I love the olive bar!)

While we are on the topic of rumored Randalls closing, I heard the same thing about the location on Westheimer at Shepherd. I tend to doubt this one, since they recently completed a major remodeling, but it doesn't seem to have increased business there. Even remodeled, the place just has somewhat of a junky look, with big cartons stacked on top of the shelving.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Midtown location would do better if another chain took it over.

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I don't know how these things are done, but maybe it would be cheaper for another chain because they wouldn't have the leftover debt from building the store in the first place?

Or if the building is owned by a developer, maybe a new store would be in a stronger position to negotiate lower lease rates from the building owner since it seems to be a building that is pretty custom-designed for grocery use.

Again, it's obvious that I'm not in real estate. Perhaps someone who is can say something more intelligent.

Randall's is hurting in a big way. They've been losing market share in the Houston area for several years. The wikipedia entry is accurate in that they try to occupy an upscale position within the market for non-specialty grocers (i.e. HEB, Kroger, Fiesta, Wal-Mart Supercenter, etc.), but they've just gotten squeezed from all sides in a business where there are very low margins. In the suburbs, HEB and Wal-Mart are crowding out any attempts at expansion on their part, and inside the city, changing demographics and the introduction of specialty grocers have been hurtful.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Midtown store ultimately didn't turn out to be feasible, but big corporations don't tend to have the same problems as independent grocers in that if they make a big capital investment that has lower yields than expected, the rest of the company can usually cover the capital outlay rather than any single store becoming financially distressed and closing. They view the construction cost as a sunk cost and as long as there are operating profits whose present value is in excess of what the store could be sold for, the store remains open. Since grocers have proprietary formats that other tenants would have to do an expensive remodel to be able to use, grocers have to be really hurting to be able to justify a store closure/divestiture.

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if they are having problems why would you expect kroger or HEB to move in?

Maybe I have this wrong, but I understood CSOM's rumor about Randall's problems applying to the whole chain, not the Midtown location. If that's the case, then it will be only a matter of time before another grocer moves in. I'd love for Kroger of HEB as well. DOes HEB have any "urban" store locations in its portfolio?

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Maybe I have this wrong, but I understood CSOM's rumor about Randall's problems applying to the whole chain, not the Midtown location. If that's the case, then it will be only a matter of time before another grocer moves in. I'd love for Kroger of HEB as well. DOes HEB have any "urban" store locations in its portfolio?

A source that services the grocery industry tells me that Randall's is suffering and may be re-evaluating the midtown location.

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Whole foods is too expensive, but Central Market is great. I like how Central Market has lots of organics but not everything is organic so you often have a choice, and it seems to be a lot cheaper than Whole Foods. Some things are even cheaper than Fiesta, and the shopping experience is much better than Fiesta or Randal's (or Whole Foods in my opinion).

If there were a Central Market anywhere near Downtown, Midtown, or the Museum District, it would be the only place where I would shop.

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RUMOR

A source that services the grocery industry tells me that Randall's is suffering and may be re-evaluating the midtown location. Has anyone else heard anything? That would be a major blow to DT/MT residential if that were to close. I'm thinking Kroger on West Gray or Fiesta on Fannin are the closest grocers otherwise? I can't imagine that would stay vacant too long until Kroger or HEB moved in. It is always busy when I go there.

Whole Foods would sweep that up in (2) seconds.

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Maybe I have this wrong, but I understood CSOM's rumor about Randall's problems applying to the whole chain, not the Midtown location. If that's the case, then it will be only a matter of time before another grocer moves in.

That would be consistent with what I heard about the Shepherd location going down. Randalls already closed a large number of their Houston locations. It might just be a matter of time before they leave the market altogether to stronger competitors. I know a lot of locals feel that Safeway ruined a good local company.

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i think a lot of folks are like me--value based shoppers. i don't see the extra value in shopping at the randalls relative to the increase in prices (substantial IMO). the location is much more convenient for me (or anyone coming hope off of I-45 or I-10) but i avoid this store because it's not a good value. i'd rather go to the krogers off montrose or gray.

thanks for the info. i'd love to see an HEB in that location.

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That would be consistent with what I heard about the Shepherd location going down. Randalls already closed a large number of their Houston locations. It might just be a matter of time before they leave the market altogether to stronger competitors. I know a lot of locals feel that Safeway ruined a good local company.

I remember when one of the Randall's family members would star in the commercials.

It seems that they have not built any new store in ages, only closing them. If they don't do something, they will shutter all of them down.

i think a lot of folks are like me--value based shoppers. i don't see the extra value in shopping at the randalls relative to the increase in prices (substantial IMO).

Most of the Randalls store are just very 80's or 90's looking.

The thing is to have a warehouse feel now. We don't need to see generic cream colored tiles with ceiling grids in stores anymore.

We like the openess of HEB and the bare concrete floors.

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The thing is to have a warehouse feel now. We don't need to see generic cream colored tiles with ceiling grids in stores anymore.

We like the openess of HEB and the bare concrete floors.

I think the Randall's stores on 34th and also at Buffalo Speedway have those formats. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Is Randall's going to go away?

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