business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reported on Safeway's new small-store format over the weekend. Excerpts:

• "At the Market by Vons, which replaced a tiny and run-down traditional Vons in the Belmont Shore section of Long Beach, the message is upscale simplicity.

"Shoppers walk through a wood floor entry with an immediate view of stacked produce, a fresh bakery, a prepared-food counter, a selection of 1,000 wines and a Starbucks kiosk … About 50% of the offerings are fresh produce, meats, cheese and prepared foods … The store carries about 15% of the items a large supermarket might offer."

• "Safeway plans to open as many as four of the smaller markets over the next year to see how shoppers react. If the concept is successful, the chain is prepared to roll out as many as 50 per year."

KC's View:
Again, say it after me:

"Fresher. Easier."