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  • Post #61 - July 15th, 2012, 8:23 am
    Post #61 - July 15th, 2012, 8:23 am Post #61 - July 15th, 2012, 8:23 am
    riddlemay wrote:Article in yesterday's Trib business section says Supervalu is considering selling off Jewel-Osco, and that a logical buyer is Kroger's, since they are the nation's largest and most successful grocery chain yet have currently next to no presence in the Chicagoland area.

    I wonder how Kroger's produce bags are? :)


    That would be very interesting since Kroger left the Chicago area some 30 years ago because of competition from the locals of Jewel and Dominick's. They have had a presence here for a while with Food 4 Less, but that's mroe of a Cub Food type of concept than actual full line Kroger grocery store.
  • Post #62 - July 15th, 2012, 8:44 am
    Post #62 - July 15th, 2012, 8:44 am Post #62 - July 15th, 2012, 8:44 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    I wonder how Kroger's produce bags are? :)


    ROAD TRIP!!!!! :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #63 - July 15th, 2012, 9:14 am
    Post #63 - July 15th, 2012, 9:14 am Post #63 - July 15th, 2012, 9:14 am
    I don't understand the complaints being Jewel specific about opening bags in produce, I think they are equally difficult in every store I go to. We haven't gone to Jewel since Woodman's opened here 5 years ago but I think Woodman's bags are impossible to open as well.
  • Post #64 - July 15th, 2012, 11:15 am
    Post #64 - July 15th, 2012, 11:15 am Post #64 - July 15th, 2012, 11:15 am
    LikestoEatout wrote:I don't understand the complaints being Jewel specific about opening bags in produce, I think they are equally difficult in every store I go to. We haven't gone to Jewel since Woodman's opened here 5 years ago but I think Woodman's bags are impossible to open as well.

    I'm sorry to hear the bags are just as impossible at Woodman's. There's no Woodman's on my rounds, so I didn't know that--but of the various chains I do get to, Jewel is the worst in the produce bag sweepstakes.

    I like stevez's idea of a ROAD TRIP (in theory), but until that happens...what do people here think of Kroger's, those of you who have experience with them from your travels? Granted it's all just well-informed speculation from the Tribune business pages, but would a Kroger's takeover of Jewel be a "good thing"? If it happens, would we prefer to see Kroger's rebrand (and rebuild) all the stores in Kroger's image, or would we rather see the stores remain as Jewel but with (presumably superior) Kroger ownership/management?
  • Post #65 - July 15th, 2012, 11:28 am
    Post #65 - July 15th, 2012, 11:28 am Post #65 - July 15th, 2012, 11:28 am
    riddlemay wrote:what do people here think of Kroger's, those of you who have experience with them from your travels?


    There is a Kroger in Owosso, MI, from whence the Chow Poodle hails. I've been to that store many times, though the bulk of her Mom's shopping (when she was alive) was done at the locally owned supermarket mini-chain VG's. Shopping at Kroger is just as generic an experience as shopping at Jewel. In fact, other than the fact that they carry Texas Pete hot sauce, there's nothing that would entice me to shop in one of those stores if it were to open here. I'd say having Kroger take over Jewel would be at best a lateral move.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 11:47 am
    Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 11:47 am Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 11:47 am
    I have been to Kroger in my travels in Missouri and Arkansas and like Steve, I find nothing special about them. I have done the Food 4 Less locations here and I am mostly unimpressed. So if they end up buying Jewel, there won't be much of a change. Except maybe Kroger branded house products. Possibly?

    I find the current Jewel TV spots and promotion kind of goofy. In reponse to Walmart's lower prices, Jewel says they have now "rolled back" prices. They have a goofy Jewel guy following customers who have not been there in a long time in the ads. I get they are just commercials but my local Jewel guy was following me home saying he hasn't seen me in a minute I'd be creeped out. Meh at Jewel!
    Last edited by KajmacJohnson on July 15th, 2012, 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #67 - July 15th, 2012, 1:28 pm
    Post #67 - July 15th, 2012, 1:28 pm Post #67 - July 15th, 2012, 1:28 pm
    stevez wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:what do people here think of Kroger's, those of you who have experience with them from your travels?


    There is a Kroger in Owosso, MI, from whence the Chow Poodle hails. I've been to that store many times, though the bulk of her Mom's shopping (when she was alive) was done at the locally owned supermarket mini-chain VG's. Shopping at Kroger is just as generic an experience as shopping at Jewel.

    I grew up 20 miles straight east of CP, and can second this...Meijer was our primary/preferred grocery store, but in a pinch, we headed to VG's or the even-more-locally-owned Bueche's.

    I don't even remember going to Kroger until college, and was unimpressed when I finally did. I only went when I needed groceries but happened to be on the wrong side of town (Meijer was on the far south side of town, Kroger on the far north).
  • Post #68 - July 15th, 2012, 2:20 pm
    Post #68 - July 15th, 2012, 2:20 pm Post #68 - July 15th, 2012, 2:20 pm
    KajmacJohnson wrote:I find the current Jewel TV spots and promotion kind of goofy. In reponse to Walmart's lower prices, Jewel says they have now "rolled back" prices. They have a goofy Jewel guy following customers who have not been there in a long time in teh ads. I get they are just commercials but my local Jewel was following me home saying he hasn't seen me in a minute I'd be creeped out. Meh at Jewel!

    First, thanks to those who have posted their Kroger's evaluations.

    Now, re the above: creepy is right. In the one I saw, Jewel Guy definitely is giving off a vibe of trying to pick up the attractive mom (who has her kid with her), and seems crestfallen when she gently rebuffs him. Now, true, she could be a single mom--but there's nothing to indicate that. So Jewel Guy is a very lonely guy who will resort to homewrecking in his desperation to relieve his loneliness, if need be. Not sure that's the message they want to send.
  • Post #69 - July 15th, 2012, 2:29 pm
    Post #69 - July 15th, 2012, 2:29 pm Post #69 - July 15th, 2012, 2:29 pm
    Consumer Reports rated 52 Supermarkets back in April of this year. Jewel finished in 48th place with a score of 71,while Kroger scored 77 and was 26th overall. Kroger beat out Jewel in two categories....perishables and prices. Other area stores rated were Trader Joe's 86 & 3rd,Costco 83 & 5th,Aldi 79 & 21st,Meijer 79 & 22nd,and Walmart Supercenter a dismal 68 & 51st place.

    Jewel has "rolled back" prices before but eventually they go right back to where they were.
  • Post #70 - July 15th, 2012, 2:33 pm
    Post #70 - July 15th, 2012, 2:33 pm Post #70 - July 15th, 2012, 2:33 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Article in yesterday's Trib business section says Supervalu is considering selling off Jewel-Osco, and that a logical buyer is Kroger's, since they are the nation's largest and most successful grocery chain yet have currently next to no presence in the Chicagoland area.

    There are approximately 50 Food4Less stores in Greater Chicagoland, owned by Kroger.
  • Post #71 - July 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm
    Post #71 - July 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm Post #71 - July 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    KajmacJohnson wrote:I find the current Jewel TV spots and promotion kind of goofy. In reponse to Walmart's lower prices, Jewel says they have now "rolled back" prices. They have a goofy Jewel guy following customers who have not been there in a long time in teh ads. I get they are just commercials but my local Jewel was following me home saying he hasn't seen me in a minute I'd be creeped out. Meh at Jewel!

    First, thanks to those who have posted their Kroger's evaluations.

    Now, re the above: creepy is right. In the one I saw, Jewel Guy definitely is giving off a vibe of trying to pick up the attractive mom (who has her kid with her), and seems crestfallen when she gently rebuffs him. Now, true, she could be a single mom--but there's nothing to indicate that. So Jewel Guy is a very lonely guy who will resort to homewrecking in his desperation to relieve his loneliness, if need be. Not sure that's the message they want to send.


    ROTF! I'm glad I am not the only one that finds these ads utterly strange. :lol:
  • Post #72 - July 17th, 2012, 11:15 am
    Post #72 - July 17th, 2012, 11:15 am Post #72 - July 17th, 2012, 11:15 am
    OMG! Jewel has gone back to actually-openable produce bags!!!

    At least "my" Jewel (the one at Ashland and Wellington) has.

    I was all set to use the good backup strategy suggested by Artie. But I figured, what the heck, before I resort to that, let's just see if I can conquer the produce bags today. I just needed a couple of avocados and some on-the-vine tomatoes.

    The bags were back to being the old kind, the kind made of ever-so-slightly thicker-mil plastic that's actually separatable by human hands.

    Huzzah!

    So my comments to the store manager and on Jewel-Osco's Facebook page actually got results.

    It shows what one little person can accomplish when he dares to go up against The Man. :)
  • Post #73 - July 17th, 2012, 2:19 pm
    Post #73 - July 17th, 2012, 2:19 pm Post #73 - July 17th, 2012, 2:19 pm
    nr706 wrote:There are approximately 50 Food4Less stores in Greater Chicagoland, owned by Kroger.


    When I use the Food4less site to find the nearest store, (
    http://www.food4less.com ) all I can find are 16 in the Chicagoland area.

    #17 Nearest is in Nevada. :?

    Have there been 30 or so new stores opened that are not yet listed on the store locator website?

    Thanks!

    Ron
  • Post #74 - July 17th, 2012, 3:15 pm
    Post #74 - July 17th, 2012, 3:15 pm Post #74 - July 17th, 2012, 3:15 pm
    RonJS wrote:When I use the Food4less site to find the nearest store, (
    http://www.food4less.com ) all I can find are 16 in the Chicagoland area.

    #17 Nearest is in Nevada. :?

    Have there been 30 or so new stores opened that are not yet listed on the store locator website?

    Thanks!

    Ron
    Using 'Chicago,Il' as the starting point they do list 50 stores but they're in a 118 mile radius which is ridiculous. In reality there are only 17 stores with the farthest being in Joliet.
  • Post #75 - July 17th, 2012, 3:17 pm
    Post #75 - July 17th, 2012, 3:17 pm Post #75 - July 17th, 2012, 3:17 pm
    Sorry, the search engine I used included Kroger and Fred Meyer stores, and used a pretty broad definition of Chicagoland. 16 in the area is probably a better number.
  • Post #76 - July 17th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    Post #76 - July 17th, 2012, 4:05 pm Post #76 - July 17th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    I got a similar 50 stores shown of all different kinds. Some jewelry and the further away from Chicagoland...Kroger's. (Based on the zip code I entered.) AFAIK, you were close enough with your initial approximate number. I thank you for your response as I had hoped a new one had opened closer than the nearest at 6 miles away.

    Ron
  • Post #77 - July 17th, 2012, 6:22 pm
    Post #77 - July 17th, 2012, 6:22 pm Post #77 - July 17th, 2012, 6:22 pm
    stevez wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:what do people here think of Kroger's, those of you who have experience with them from your travels?


    There is a Kroger in Owosso, MI, from whence the Chow Poodle hails. I've been to that store many times, though the bulk of her Mom's shopping (when she was alive) was done at the locally owned supermarket mini-chain VG's. Shopping at Kroger is just as generic an experience as shopping at Jewel. In fact, other than the fact that they carry Texas Pete hot sauce, there's nothing that would entice me to shop in one of those stores if it were to open here. I'd say having Kroger take over Jewel would be at best a lateral move.


    Having lived and shopped at a number of Krogers down here near Nashville over the last six months, I agree with the generic comment. I started out almost exclusively with Kroger but have drifted now more often than not to Publix. I dearly miss the Fresh Farms and Marianos of Chicago. Not only are groceries more expensive and of less quality, but there are some items that are difficult to get. It's impossible to get beef shanks, of all things, from either one of those stores without placing a special order!
    Coming to you from Leiper's Fork, TN where we prefer forking to spooning.
  • Post #78 - July 18th, 2012, 6:27 pm
    Post #78 - July 18th, 2012, 6:27 pm Post #78 - July 18th, 2012, 6:27 pm
    I was just discussing this with my wife yesterday... hoping that Jewel might get an upgrade by being sold. When I lived in Atlanta, we had lots of Krogers and Publixes, as well as Harris-Teeter (who pulled out around the time I moved back to Chicago). All were so much better than Jewel or Dominick's in terms of mainstream grocery stores... would welcome either Kroger or Public taking over Jewel. Mariano's is now our go-to store since they've opened in the city. Usually we hit the River East one since we live in East Lincoln Park with easy access to Lakeshore Dr.
  • Post #79 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:48 am
    Post #79 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:48 am Post #79 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:48 am
    blipsman wrote:I was just discussing this with my wife yesterday... hoping that Jewel might get an upgrade by being sold. When I lived in Atlanta, we had lots of Krogers and Publixes, as well as Harris-Teeter (who pulled out around the time I moved back to Chicago). All were so much better than Jewel or Dominick's in terms of mainstream grocery stores... would welcome either Kroger or Public taking over Jewel. Mariano's is now our go-to store since they've opened in the city. Usually we hit the River East one since we live in East Lincoln Park with easy access to Lakeshore Dr.


    The chance of Publix ever expanding into the area would be slim to none but if by some miracle they ever did I would welcome them with open arms. I have heard nothing but good things about them. Unfortunately, I would not be as hopeful if Kroger purchased Jewel. Kroger is no Publix.
  • Post #80 - July 22nd, 2012, 2:35 pm
    Post #80 - July 22nd, 2012, 2:35 pm Post #80 - July 22nd, 2012, 2:35 pm
    KajmacJohnson wrote:The chance of Publix ever expanding into the area would be slim to none but if by some miracle they ever did I would welcome them with open arms.

    Just curious why you say that, Kajmac. (The part about chances "slim to none," I mean.) If Publix could establish a giant beachhead in a huge market in which they currently aren't represented, why wouldn't they want to? (I don't question your view--I assume it's based on information that I don't have. I want to.)
  • Post #81 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:04 pm
    Post #81 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:04 pm Post #81 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:04 pm
    I know I'm going to hate myself for asking this but why do people think Publix is superior to any of the mid-level, mostly generic KroDomEls of the world? I grew up in Tampa. Publix, Winn Dixie and Kash 'n Karry were the 3 main options--none of which were anything special. Publix continues to excel in mediocrity--they've pretty much ground the other 2 competitors into the ground and they do hold the distinction of continuing to be privately held. No idea why anyone would put them on a pedestal for anything else though. Same Perdue chickens, same plastic mexi-cali produce, same canned goods...

    Is there something fabulous that I've missed in these 48 years of shopping there (assuming I was there in utero and ever since)? I do have a friend who loves their sheet cakes--but, other than that, I've never heard anyone mention them as notable for anything...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #82 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:30 pm
    Post #82 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:30 pm Post #82 - July 22nd, 2012, 3:30 pm
    The Chicago grocery market is one of the most competitive in the United States thanks to Central Grocers Cooperative and the many independent stores to mini chains here. Buying a mismanaged, unionized, mediocre chain here just to get a foothold would be insane for any chain with no regional experience. The new entrants have been creeping in from nearby markets or are established general merchandise stores adding groceries.

    I have never been in a Publix store, but I cannot see how an employee-owned chain that is solely in five southeastern states would want to enter the Chicago market's competitive mess or have any comparative advantage. Many of Jewel's problems stem from being managed out of Idaho or Minnesota with poor understanding of local market variations.
  • Post #83 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:00 am
    Post #83 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:00 am Post #83 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:00 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:I know I'm going to hate myself for asking this but why do people think Publix is superior to any of the mid-level, mostly generic KroDomEls of the world? I grew up in Tampa. Publix, Winn Dixie and Kash 'n Karry were the 3 main options--none of which were anything special. Publix continues to excel in mediocrity--they've pretty much ground the other 2 competitors into the ground and they do hold the distinction of continuing to be privately held. No idea why anyone would put them on a pedestal for anything else though. Same Perdue chickens, same plastic mexi-cali produce, same canned goods...

    Is there something fabulous that I've missed in these 48 years of shopping there (assuming I was there in utero and ever since)? I do have a friend who loves their sheet cakes--but, other than that, I've never heard anyone mention them as notable for anything...

    I've never understood the love for Publix either. I've spent significant amounts of time in Miami and have never been wowed by them. The only thing I can figure is that their competition is terrible,thus making them look better.
  • Post #84 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:15 am
    Post #84 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:15 am Post #84 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:15 am
    I've probably only ever been in one or two Publixes on trips (same applies to Kroger and Winn-Dixie), but I wonder if some of the love for chains in other regions is based at least partly on the overall shopping experience rather than superiority of actual food, which might be parity. Bright lighting, spacious aisles, attractive merchandising, intuitively sensible placement of items (this is a real weak spot with Jewel)--all can make a big difference in inspiring affection, and their opposites can inspire antipathy. Even the newer bigger Jewels around these parts (and the Dominick's as well) lack the "sparkle" that some stores in other regions have. And don't get me started on placement. OK, do get me started. One specific example is that at my Jewel, I have to check two different places in the store (which are not next to each other) every time I want to buy Fage 2% yogurt in the individual serving size. It could be in the regular dairy case--or it could be over in Wild Harvest (or whatever they call it). Or it could be neither because they're out of it. To know, you have to read their minds as to how "alternative" they consider Fage yogurt to be on any given day. The sheer dumbness of this begins to be an attribute (if that's the word) that you associate with the chain's brand.
  • Post #85 - July 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm
    Post #85 - July 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm Post #85 - July 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm
    riddlemay wrote:...at my Jewel, I have to check two different places in the store (which are not next to each other) every time I want to buy Fage 2% yogurt in the individual serving size. It could be in the regular dairy case--or it could be over in Wild Harvest (or whatever they call it).


    I shop at Strack and Van Til mostly, and I find this sort of thing maddening (and they do less of it than others). Canned beans are in the canned section and in the "ethnic" section and in the "natural foods" section. As far as I can tell, they sort by brand.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #86 - July 23rd, 2012, 1:19 pm
    Post #86 - July 23rd, 2012, 1:19 pm Post #86 - July 23rd, 2012, 1:19 pm
    I guess you haven't seen Fresh Farms. I'd be out of there so much faster if they'd just put all the beans together.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #87 - July 23rd, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Post #87 - July 23rd, 2012, 2:11 pm Post #87 - July 23rd, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:I guess you haven't seen Fresh Farms. I'd be out of there so much faster if they'd just put all the beans together.


    I both love and hate that about Fresh Farms. On one hand, it makes it harder to find a particular item when it could be put on the shelves in any of a number of ways and in a number of different departments. On the other hand, this strategy has led me to some great discoveries of things I didn't even knew existed.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #88 - July 23rd, 2012, 4:03 pm
    Post #88 - July 23rd, 2012, 4:03 pm Post #88 - July 23rd, 2012, 4:03 pm
    I've been following this thread for a while. Let me tell you, you don't know how much BETTER shopping Jewel/Dominicks etc is until you no longer have the privilege. Consider yourself fortunate to have independents as well as chains. I do miss that about the general Chicago area.

    Where I live, we have a small independent chain that caters to low, low income people (as in there are NO brands you recognize....and some cuts of meat that you wouldn't either! :lol: ), WalMart and Kroger. Kroger is hit or miss, depending on the store you go to. One of our Kroger stores just started carrying Boars Head deli products. The other still sells Sara Lee and Private Selection (store brand). The meat departments are night and day between the two stores. Memphis used to have Schnucks but Kroger just bought them out. In all instances, you are forced to buy what they have, which is limited because of the way folks eat down here. Don't think about finding things like Thai noodles; even the restaurants can't get the proper noodle for Pad Sei Eew. Shopping is bleak here in West TN!

    What makes Publix so much better than Kroger? Why they have employees who are willing to HELP you instead of run from you. They carry different selections of consumables, not just one. There is variety in every aisle, not to mention space in every aisle. Every Publix we've been to (FL, GA, TN) has been clean, has decent produce with no fruit flies, has reasonable stock on hand and has cashiers and baggers to move you on your way.

    We drive to Nashville to go to TJs, Harris Teeter, Publix and Costco, along with an international market that may have fish that's not catfish. That's a two hour drive....we do it once every couple of months. We do have a famers market where we can get locally grown produce but you have to get there early (farmer early) or they run out.
  • Post #89 - July 30th, 2012, 2:50 pm
    Post #89 - July 30th, 2012, 2:50 pm Post #89 - July 30th, 2012, 2:50 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    KajmacJohnson wrote:The chance of Publix ever expanding into the area would be slim to none but if by some miracle they ever did I would welcome them with open arms.

    Just curious why you say that, Kajmac. (The part about chances "slim to none," I mean.) If Publix could establish a giant beachhead in a huge market in which they currently aren't represented, why wouldn't they want to? (I don't question your view--I assume it's based on information that I don't have. I want to.)


    I know a little bit about Publix's company history and they are a privately held company which in my observations are much more careful when it comes to buyouts or takeovers. I would hope that one day they make it here because I have heard nothing but good things about their stores and their products (I have a friend who once worked for them and grew up in their hometown), so it will be interesting to see if it ever happens.
  • Post #90 - July 30th, 2012, 3:09 pm
    Post #90 - July 30th, 2012, 3:09 pm Post #90 - July 30th, 2012, 3:09 pm
    Many years ago Publix expanded into the area where I had the misfortune to be living at the time (Charleston, Sc).
    They were so much better than the chains that were available at the time, though Harris Teeter had a few items that Publix did not.
    Food Lion was great for their cost containment - but the Pig was different between the stores the chain owned and the local ones. For example - I wanted a lamb leg for a cookout. The locally owned Pig had a few in the freezer but they were past the "use by" date. I made an offer to buy every one of them, was refused, and the next time I went back saw that the stickers had been replaced with a "use by" date a year into the future. I complained to the corporate office and never shopped at the locally owned pig again.

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