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  1. Oh yeah. Kroger doesn't take Apple Pay. I get 2% back if I use Apple Pay and Apple Card at Randalls (this makes sense of course only if you pay the Apple card off in full monthly). Kroger also screws with some debit cards to force you to enter the pin, so you couldn't get the cash back.
  2. Various merger news. This merger should not be allowed, in my opinion. https://www.supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/former-ftc-policy-director-kroger-albertsons-merger-facing-hurricane-storm https://apnews.com/article/kroger-albertsons-merger-cs-wholesale-grocer-401520f2a25ea2ae5fd06be4973b7c48 https://www.krogeralbertsons.com/comprehensive-divestiture-plan Exactly which 26 Texas stores is completely undefined. They have a lot more market share in the Dallas area. There's 65 Dallas-area Tom Thumb stores (wow, that seems like a lot, did they convert some Albertson's or something?). Some number of Albertson's. 9 "Dallas" Kroger stores, dunno if that includes suburbs or not, I'm thinking not. So the logical theory is that it's going to be some Tom Thumb stores they divest, so that the market share in that area doesn't get too high and piss off the FTC. If the merger goes through, some more, but not all of the Randalls die. Maybe a Kroger dies. Maybe they just rebrand them all to Kroger. Regardless, some people are getting fired. Here's my theory: Randalls has 28 stores in Texas. They're about to close 2 of them, you know, because they're just really good at closing down Randalls stores. Then they just ditch the whole Austin and Houston markets and walk away. At least C&S has distribution in Houston, they can truck this to Austin. They also promise not to fire anyone. Split theory: Houston and some of Dallas goes to C&S. Austin goes to Kroger, they convert them to Kroger's and they opens a few new stores and distribution there to compete. C&S has no distribution in Austin. It's been my experience that the larger and larger a company gets, the worse and worse it gets for it's employees and customers, for a variety of reasons.
  3. I rediscovered this article recently. It's basically spot-on. https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2005/11/14/editorial2.html?page=all
  4. So my day started off like this... And it ended something like this... Still, I'd do it again. It's fulfilling. We opened on time at 7 am and had no major issues.
  5. This needs to be opposed full stop. This is a horrible idea, your grocery prices absolutely will go up even more if this horrible deal is approved. Write whoever, senator, congressman, maybe just start rioting or something, there is no way in hell this should be allowed. And not just cause I don't want to see Randalls die it's just a total shitshow for this to even have been proposed. --------------- Saw this ad today, I usually manipulate the page to skip the ad but I noticed it was for O Organics and wanted to check the banner. So it's probably just got Houston in the general geo-targeting with an "Insert Randalls.png" logo or some such towards the end.
  6. I know of a place that did that - https://www.galleriaoaks5151.com If you look on HCAD it's still divided into condos, and the complex owns all but a few of them (last time I checked anyway).
  7. Store 1012 - 5210 FM 1960 W https://images1.loopnet.com/d2/8uif0s06laDTGy17Hpa3iTJOgPAeCkX_Rm75RSBT_kI/Champions VillageFlyer.pdf (also attached to the post) I predict that this store will close in 2024 😕 Another grocery store will probably lease the space quickly, though. (This is exactly what happened at 9503 Jones Rd). The store opened as a "Handy Andy" in 1974 (not a Randalls). I forget when Randalls bought Handy Andy. 878856414_Champions20VillageFlyer.pdf
  8. I am fairly skilled at web scraping. My friend wanted to buy a PS5, so I wrote a script that would scrape walmart.com for a PS5 every minute (ignoring the scammy marketplace sellers). I would use my server's 5 IP addresses in rotating order, so that any one IP would not be blocked. The script would send me and my friend a text (using @vtext.com and the one for AT&T) when it found them for sale. My script did eventually find Walmart PS5's for sale, but we weren't able to log on fast enough to buy it. Every month or so Walmart would change their site slightly, requiring a corresponding change to my script. Eventually my friend got one from Sony directly, so I stopped updating the script. (I have a PS4 and it looks fine, so I could care less really.) Anyway, the permit site looks fairly easy to submit a search and scrape. Worst case scenario, you can actually run a type of virtual Firefox browser, and then "type" or pick from selection menus, "submit" the form and then scrape the data presented. Demo permits would only need to be scraped once a day, so IPs shouldn't be a problem. I would just need to decipher the "PROJECT_DESC" column. I think what I want are "DEMO RES/SEWER DISC" and "DEMO BLD/ SEWER DISC". The data does seem to have crappy inconsistencies for some reason. Sometimes it says "DEMO BLDG/SEWER DISC" or "DEMO RES / SEWER DISC". If I delete all the spaces, then I can check for fewer matches, just "RES" or "BLD" or "BLDG". RES is obviously Residential. I am not sure if BLD and BLDG always/sometimes mean Commercial. Maybe if I got a scraper working, I could just start "posting" those to the existing Swamplot, and then see how much that increases traffic, which might then attract a new editor and stuff.
  9. I vaguely remember SwampLot had a post that said something like, "If we could get new editors/writers we could keep the site going". The site subsequently "closed" but has been kind enough to stay online, with someone paying the bills. It showed up in a Google search I just did for Timber Cop Condos. I certainly couldn't write every day but I could host the site and provide technical support, and an occasional writeup. (Swamplot has published my photos and even analysis before). I have a server in a Houston area datacenter that would be perfect. We would need an official editor though and some writer(s) I guess? Would anyone be up for doing that? There's not really listed "authors" for the stories on Swamplot so I have no idea if it was really one person or several people. I know a lot of it was submissions and then the site would add a little write up to it. Then there was the weekly stuff and the demolition reports. I'm a programmer so I bet the demolition reports could actually be automated to some degree, by scraping the relevant Houston city site. A post could be created and queued up, and someone could add pithy commentary if desired before it was published at some standard time. I don't think anything ever really replaced Swamplot. It used to be one of those sites I'd check almost daily. If there's any interest in someone acting as the editor or a writer or something make a post. Or maybe this idea is stupid because someone else already replaced Swamplot, or no one cares anymore.
  10. https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2022/01/13/partners-capital-buys-clear-lake-retail-center.html "The former Randalls has been sitting empty for about two years... Randalls’ lease on the building doesn’t expire until March 2024" If rent is $10,000 a month, then it costs you $10,000 a month to have an empty store. It only makes sense to have an empty store if you were somehow losing more than $10,000 a month. Why would you then not try something else like laying off a few people? Sure that's not ideal, but I mean, they always say something like "The employees were offered positions at other stores" but you know they didn't all get positions. So either way it would happen. (Stuff like write-offs might affect those numbers to some degree.) It also stands to reason that if you have fewer stores, you have less purchasing power. Which would just seem to screw the remaining stores further.
  11. I hit 200 posts and got a notification that says, "Congratulations! You've increased your rank to ! " I'm guessing it should have said "Full Member". Also, is there any kind of additional privilege that comes with that, or just bragging rights?
  12. Well I totally missed this one. https://communityimpact.com/houston/sugar-land-missouri-city/impacts/2022/06/28/following-randalls-closure-anchor-position-at-sugar-lands-williams-trace-plaza-now-available/ God damnit. Just, stupid. Except for the fact that I think these stores are all closing when they're 25 or 30 years old which also seems to be the standard term lease. I actually found an entire Randalls lease contract online once. I think I saved it somewhere. I do remember it was for 25 years, but it also had built in yearly rent raises. So I don't think that the rent should significantly increase after the term is up, but everything is pretty screwed up these days, so who knows. 9660 Westheimer got completely rebuilt, so we know they're capable of negotiating this type of thing. I'd like to see some magazine do a long form post-mortem when they're finally done squandering Randalls. Maybe Texas Monthly or something like that. Start at the beginning, with the history but at least half of should dissect how Safeway and then Albertsons completely just wasted it away. There's a neat old picture of one of the original Randalls stores, at the FM 1960 store in one of the vestibules. (The other vestibule has an old Albertsons picture). I'll dig through my phone for it.
  13. Here's a weird screen I got logging into Randalls.com It's probably just a stupid error, but it could also be an intentional leak that they plan to rebrand Randalls as Safeway. Which would be just about the dumbest thing they could do in my opinion. If they were going to rebrand the stores for some reason, I'd go with Tom Thumb, which at least has a presence in Texas. People in Houston would have no opinion of Tom Thumb, where they might have a significant opinion of Safeway or even Albertsons.
  14. Modest updates were made. A few new files, plus the categories are in a table that show when that category was last modified. (Any category with a blank was modified over a year ago). https://hctra.co
  15. How many condo complexes have actually voted to sell out and be demolished? I'm in the market for a condo now most likely inside the Beltway. I'm curious how many condo complexes have actually voted to sell out and be demolished? (If you don't know my backstory I was one of the last old Westcreek residents before all the towers went up). I only know of the one, somewhere near the West Loop and I can't recall the name right now. It was on Swamplot though (RIP :( ) If you can recall any others please post them. What are typical % of owners required to sell out to demolish? (It seems to be quite north of 50%) Of course, if developers offered enough - if they truly made it worth the owners' while, then bye bye, I'm not stupid and won't hold up a good deal. I'm just curious as to what has happened before.
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