Thursday, February 04, 2010

Safeway at 4th & RI Ave NE to close on March 6, 2010

See this article from a new story on WJLA-TV's website:

Residents Fired Up About Safeway Closing in Northeast

posted 02/03/10 6:09 pm producer: Malachi Constant

closings are nothing new in the bad economy but on Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast Washington, a Safeway store closing is causing a big commotion.

After decades of serving one Northeast neighborhood, Safeway is shutting down its Rhode Island Avenue store where reaction Wednesday was swift and emotional.

"What are we going to do if they close the Safeway down?" asked one person.

"That's just crazy!" remarked another.

One resident asked, "What is the community going to do?"

Many residents say the supermarket is the center of their community where the elderly and others push their carts to shop, pick up their prescriptions and keep up on what's going on.

ANC Commissioner Marshall Phillips is angry. Phillips said, "They're just closing us down and leaving our community and where they going to take the money they've taken from here…"

Safeway told its employees the news Tuesday.

Safeway's Craig Muckle said, "We are closing the store effective March 6th and it's never an easy decision to close a store."

Safeway say they are losing business to a new Giant built half a mile down the street. They also say the type of stores in the nearby mall are not the kind that attract customers who would also shop at Safeway and so business is down.

One woman shared her reaction to the news about the closing, saying, "I'm like, 'good God, that's sad.' This is so sad."

One resident proposed, "They should work on keeping it open for us."

"We senior citizens don't have no place to go except up to the Giant and got a catch a bus to up there. That's crazy. Lord, have mercy, Jesus I don't know. I don't know. They treating us wrong," said one senior citizen.


Anonymous said...

I've shopped there a lot and I can tell you one problem must be that they are losing money to the neighborhood as well. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen kids shoplifting in there and no one cares or says anything.

Unknown said...

I've lived in Bloomingdale for 3 years and literally never been in that store. I always go to Giant. Initially, I thought "who cares? there is a giant across the street" but I didn't realize how tough it would be for seniors to get to the Giant (which is kind of on top of a hill and through a few parking lots).

Sorry for those folks who want it to stay open.

David said...

With that kind of attitude, I wouldn't want to do business there. Commissioner Phillips asked, "where they going to take the money they've taken from here?" It isn't like a bank is closing and not returning people's funds. Safeway provided a products, services, and jobs for many years.

And it isn't like the Giant's that far away. It's basically across the street.

I saw on the Eckington list serv that some people would like to bring a Trader Joes in. I doubt it'd take. But given the proximity of another conventional grocery store, I'd think only an unconventional grocery store would have a chance. Then they wouldn't really be competing for the same customers.

IMGoph said...

the long-term plans (warning, PDF) for that area are being drafted as we speak, and i think they show what is necessary for a store to thrive in that space.

sure, there is a fair amount of foot traffic from seniors in nearby edgewood and eckington, but a lot of the people shopping at that safeway drive there. with the new safeway at 5th and L NW, and other grocery stores updating their physical plant and products, the store at 514 RIA NE has become one of the least-nice stores in town. if i'm a person driving to get my groceries, why wouldn't i drive a little further to a nicer store if i have the opportunity?

in order for a store to thrive there, they need to be more up-to-date. safeway clearly wasn't interested in making that investment, but another store might be interested if they can get one more thing in the area—more people nearby.

now, i know that for a lot of people in the area, density is a four-letter word right up there with the best of them. the fact is that, at a transit hub like the rhode island avenue station, we should have more stores and more apartments, condos, and the like. when the rhode island avenue plan that i linked to above is fully implemented, the increased residential density around the station should make it a slam-dunk, open-and-shut case for a grocer to locate there. we'll probably just have to wait a while for that to happen...

Max F said...

Is this the same Safeway that was just temporarily shuttered for sanitation issues?

Anonymous said...

This Safeway is filthy and disgusting. I patronized this store only in dire emergencies, primarily because of the poor quality of food/produce, but also because of safety concerns. Closing it is a good thing. Hopefully it will bring about some much needed change to what now stands as a hopeless, low-rent strip mall. I can only dream of a Trader Joe's (or anything comparable, for that matter)!

Anonymous said...

This store is an eyesore. There appeared to be no incentive to improve the quality of both the merchandise and the facility. Safeway has a history of neglecting their stores in communities that serve the elderly & persons of color. It took the Safeway on Columbia Road more than 15 years to substantially improve the quality of merchanise and appearence. However, when the demographics of that area changed substantially along with some competition with another store, they finally cleaned up their act. Safeway is not unlike many stores that "red-line" commuities. Have you been to any other Home Depot and compared, the quality of service and availabilty of merchanise, to our Rhode Island Ave Home Depot? I'm also not convinced that the Rhode Island Ave Giant is that great. We're just so grateful we have a supemarket in our commuity, we accept what is provided for better or worse.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer shopping at the sareway than the Giant and I don't consider myself an elderly person. This is very sad. What do you mean the shopping center doesn't have stores that attract customers. The parking lot always has cars in it. I ususally shop at 8AM and there are lots of people in the store at that time. The store employees are alot more friendly and helpful than at the Giant across the street. This is so bad for the community and it is sad for the faithful customers. To go to the Giant whether walking which is a safety factor or driving is a huge inconvenience and it isn't "across the street".

Anonymous said...

Ya'll don't think the cracker kids steal too?

Anonymous said...

Really....a Safeway on 4th St NE and RI? I didn't even know one existed.

Yeah...there are plenty of "Cracker kids" in the area stealing. They are such a nuisance. Damn Crackers. Always stealing, dealing drugs, and abusing public services. Always find them hanging out in groups with blonde corn-rows mugging old ladies. To hell with them there cracker kids.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the nuisance really is the cracker gentrys who have just moved into the neighborhood the past couple of years. They sucked out the culture and turned our city into suburbia. Plus, they are pretty racist to people who have lived here decades.

IMGoph said...

actually, the nuisance really is the racist commenters who are posting to this message board anonymously the past couple of years. they don't believe in any culture and would like to see our city into a racially pure version of existence that exists only in their mind. plus, they are pretty racist to people who have recently moved in.

Anonymous said...

Imgoph, you don't even live in Bloomingdale.

The whites have taken what culture our neighborhood had and replaced it with speed bumps.

I hope those people that have recently moved in, move the hell back to Omaha or Cheyenne or Charleston. As someone who has lived here for 30 years, we don't want you.

Thank you for moving out of my neighborhood by the way. We appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Giant is certainly not across the street. I have lived in this area for over 10 years. This past blizzard show me how vital it is to have access to a grocery store in your close proximity especially when you can't DRIVE. How are you going to shop AND carry heavy bags all of the way from the Giant? Giant's service is not that good; They don't care how long you stand in line. At least in the Safeway, the regular cashiers like Clarence work hard and REALLY care about customer service.