Thursday, March 13, 2014

Safeway - Will It Be Closing?

Speaking of companies closing, Safeway put itself up for sale this year and it appears that it is going to be purchased by Cerberus Capital Management, the company that buys and fixes companies, or buys companies and chops them up companies and sells the parts (remember Pretty Woman?).

Cerberus is the same company that bought Chrysler from Daimler-Benz and tried to rescue them before giving up and selling them to the federal government, which then sold the American car company to the Italian car company Fiat.

Cerberus has offered to buy Safeway for about $40 per share, which is where it was in May of 2002.  If you bought Safeway stock 12 years ago, you are now just breaking even.  Over that same time, the S&P500 is up about 75%.  To translate this, if you would have invested $1,000 in SWY in May of 2002, you'd now have $1,000.  If you would have invested $1,000 in an S&P500-based mutual fund, you could now have about $1,750.

I think we all know that part of the problem is their prices.  When they advertise that a 2-liter bottle of soda is on sale for $1.99 and that you are saving $1.00 per bottle, while the grocery store across the street has the same 2-liter bottles on sale for 3 for $5, you are not going to survive for long.  The only advantage to shopping at the Safeway in Eldersburg is that there is NEVER a crowd.  Need to get in and out quick and don't mind paying 45% more for your groceries, then Safeway is the store for you.

Cerberus also owns Albertson's grocery stores.  There is speculation that Cerberus will consolidate Safeway into the Albertson's brand and Safeway will no longer exist.

I wonder what will happen to the Eldersburg Safeway?

Eldersburg Safeway


Kent Allard said...

Yep, ran in there this evening because like you said, never crowded, and its easy to just run in. Pure maple syrup, $8.49! Available elsewhere for between $4.99 - $5.99. Their prices is all over the place though. Its almost like they just randomly make them up.

Brewtime said...

I do 95% oft shopping at Safeway. Is spend the same amount of money there as I do at Martiins. You have to do some prep beforehand. I constantly save 30% or more on my bill and Safeway has a better gas rewards program than Martins. Personally I hate shopping at Martins. They are constantly restocking the shelves the clientele reminds me of the typical Columbia resident ( the reason we moved here) and their customer service sucks

Kent Allard said...

Brewtime, I do have to agree with you on the customer service at Martins. Its pretty deplorable. They're also poorly stocked as you mentioned, lots of empty shelves. I've done a lot of close price comparisons though, and Safeway loses. A lot of their prices are completely whacked. I really don't want to have to "do some prep" before hand personally. That's just me though. We also moved out here from Howard Co. to escape that "typical Columbia" attitude you mentioned. That was almost a decade ago. Unfortunately....I see that attitude creeping in out here. Its gotten more congested with traffic and the attitudes have gotten increasingly more entitled and just plain s#itty in my opinion.

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