New signage adorns the facade of the soon-to-be former Alebertsons on Steilacoom Blvd in Lakewood.
For most of the past few decades, the grocery store at 8611 Steilacoom Blvd in Lakewood has gone by the name of Albertsons.
Albertsons and Safeway are just of 21 brands owned and operated by Albertsons Companies.
Coraline Jones says
Weird 38-word article that tells most people nothing they didn’t already know?
T. Holland says
Ya know, I most certainly didn’t realize this being I don’t live in that community. But I do reside in The same county. I found just having the simple knowledge keeps me up to date .
Thanks to whomever wrote those 38 words . It was far more positive then the usual nurse in the suburbs.
I don’t get out much. So I didn’t know. I’m grateful for the information.
Marcia Melena says
It will always be Albertson’s to me.
They were jam packed yesterday and they have added items to the deli, poor staff, now they have to memorize the new sandwich building order number & ingredients. One just gave up and asked the long time employee Sarah to take over for him and walked away to help others at the salad and sliced meat area. Give them some time to learn the new ropes, they are such a wonderful staff.
It’s not a question of the staff – for example, Sunshine was like family to is for years and years. Her passing was deeply felt in our community. The real issue in discussion here is the lack of competition for grocery shopping within Lakewood proper. Two Safeway store is zero competition.
Many here questioned why the city of Lakewood had not attracted and retained even one other grocery chain to locate a store in the many vacant retail spaces available.
Chaske Frierson says
In regards to the Albertsons name, Albertsons is one of 21 different stores owned, and operated by the Kroger Corporation. Safeway, and Fred Meyers are also part of the Kroger family- that’s why you occasionally see Kroger products on their shelves.
Karen J Duggins says
Sorry you seem to be somewhat confused:
Cerebus owns Albertsons & Safeway. Kroger owns Fred Meyer stores.
Kroger (KR) is the # 1 Grocery Retailer in the country.
Albertsons Companies Incorporated (ACI) is #2.
They are different in terms of brands and facilities.
Look them up on the Stock Exchange.
Gary Turney says
Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Decades ago a Safeway was across the street in the building that now houses O’Reilly’s.
I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this info. Pretty ironic.
Grocery chains are the “for profit” bane of America’s broken food supply system.
Safeway coming and going, merging with Albertsons, selling to Hagen, buying out Hagen and then reflagging Albertsons to Safeway smacks of a way to side step laws against monopolies.
Bottom line – Lakewood’s immediate food suppliers are 2 Safeways now. Let the price gouging commence more openly now.
Albertsons went bankrupt long time ago, Cerebus Capital Mgmt group bought all the stores & others and simply used the Albertsons name because they liked it
Susanne Bacon says
Exactly my thought. And the City of Lakewood wouldn’t have Saar’s or any other supermarket anywhere near the Towne Center Safeway though there was and still is ample room for another supermarket.
I certainly won’t play their game and rather carry my grocery money to smaller stores or over to other stores in University Place.
You forgot there are a Fred Meyers & Walmart in Lakewood. So pull your pants up McFly.
J. Gordon says
Dani, I’d like to offer a solution, pertaining to the price gouging that these grocery stores are engaged in.
There is a store called ” U.S. Chefs “. There are two in the area, one on Tacoma Mall Blvd. that used to be a canned food warehouse ( next to Ted Brown Music ), and on off Pacific Ave. on 112th, behind the Parkland Chevrolet. I highly recommend these stores. You aren’t going to believe what they have to offer, and it’s open to the public. I find that the produce is superior, and stays fresh longer, because the store ‘buyers’ are purchasing for restaurants. The meat is also better, and it’s all far cheaper than we’d been spending at Safeway, or even Albertsons while it was still Albertsons. Even cheaper than the old SARS Marketplace was, with far superior food products and pricing. I’ve provided this information to all my employees and friends, because food prices are outrageous.
Thank you. I will make a point to visit and see what is there. I went to the location in Parkland over a year ago for a job I had – it was not called US Chefs then – Smart Foods or something I believe was the name.
It sold in bulk and the staff was very helpful.
Same business or new ownership?
J. Gordon says
Dani, yes, it was Smart Foods before. We love this place. Just wish they’d consider opening a branch here in Lakewood, perhaps in the vacancy QFC left when they closed down the Lakewood store.
Yes we shop at US. Foods CHEF’STORE a change of names recently from the simple Cash&Carry name, then Smart Foodservice. Their prices beat all grocery stores, the McChord or Ft. Lewis commissaries even Costco, plus they don’t have membership fees. Steeped in Comfort, Best Burgers also shop their for their bulk supplies & coffee flavors, napkins, carry out supplies as well as many other nearby town & city restaurants and fast food shops. They are across the freeway from WinCo’s.
I would prefer another US. Foods CHEF’STORE at the Lakewood Town Center where the large sports shop has been vacant for eons.
J. Gordon says
Yes, the old G.I.Joe building would also be a good spot for a Lakewood branch of U.S. Chef, but parking might be an issue. It was always hard to find an available stall while it was a G.I.Joe building.
I was thinking more along the lines of the vacancy left by QFC in the Colonial shopping center.
I’m thinking that is best as the rent levels would be more in line with that of the Tacoma Mall location, both the landlord & US Chef’store MIKE LANGEVIN their District Manager might really like that idea to add more clientele versus what can fit into the current location. The old QFC location as I recall has to be razed & rebuilt or at least rehabbed from the news about the Bagel place being unsafe at the opposite end of the structure.
As far as Lakewood getting their act together….I did a quick search on the city’s efforts if you will to get community input on tenant ideas for the old GI Joe’s.
In 2015, the city was scraping the bottom of the barrel (Facebook post) and residents responded. A new grocery was suggested by numerous residents. Unbelievable lack of progress in nearly 6 years since that post.
I appreciate the energy and optimism from the residents posting on here though! And I will be visiting US Chefs tomorrow!
Right in the money
Ha, Gary I didn’t know that, but now that you mention it the building does have the architecture grid of Safeway for sure, we moved to Steilacoom in 1996 so it had to be Safeway long before we moved here.
J. Gordon says
We moved to Lakewood in 1986. The Albertsons on Steilacoom Blvd. was Albertsons back then. I’m not sure about what it might have been prior to that.
J. Gordon says
Karen, yes, the Cascade Bagel shop closed for a variety of reasons, including the raising of lease, and due to a customer being attacked by a squatter’s dog. Squatters took up residency in the overhead attic area and caused some damage.
But good news is, there’s a new owner. It’s no longer owned by California based Westwood Financial. And the new owner is hoping to attract businesses. From what I’ve learned, the QFC building is structurally sound, but squatters had broken in and ripped out plumbing fixtures and wiring, and it will be repaired and replaced prior to leasing.
Mike M Darrah says
Why is 2015 news appearing as if new news. Confused.
This article is missing the why.
Why is the store going from an Albertsons to the Safeway branded store?
Whatever, Lakewood needs a WinCo and a Trader Joe’s.
Our only grocery options are now 2 Safeways and the Walmart on Bridgeport?!
Terrible city planning yet again.
J. Gordon says
I’d love to see a WinCo. I’d also like to see U.S. Chefs open a store here in Lakewood. Safeways would have a coronary if U.S. Chefs opened a store here though, because the food quality is far superior, and the pricing far lower. U.S. Chefs is a supplier to area restaurants, but also open to the public.
There is a store on Tacoma Mall Blvd. next to Ted Brown Music, in the building that used to be a Canned Food Warehouse. There is another store on 112th St. just East of Pacific Ave. (hwy 7 ) just behind the Parkland Chevy dealer. Please please PLEASE go to one of these stores and take a look. When we did, we realized how badly we’d been cheated for so long by chain grocery stores.
And there is a Fred Meyer store a mile, maybe less, from the WalMart.
BTW: I am no fan of the Lakewood government, but how is it their responsibility to find new grocery stores or ANY kind of privately owned business?
You can be sure, however, they will be right on the spot to impose and collect any taxes for starting a business.
Any city council is responsible for the economic development of the municipality they serve. Either through the hiring of a point person paid by the city to facilitate economic development or through council committee on econ development.
Lakewood has this in the header for their web page.
Check it out –
Also, candidates when running for the council campaigned on attracting businesses like new grocery chains, more eateries, etc to Lakewood each campaign cycle. Pretty common platform (which you and I know they rarely follow through on that big talk but…).
If you scan through this response section to the blurb about the Safeway, you can see another link to a Facebook post the City of Lakewood put out to ask for suggestions on how to fill vacant commercial real estate spaces. That was in 2015 I believe, and shocker, right, residents on this thread today are requesting the same basic things posed to the city almost 6 years ago.
Take a read through the council responsibilities, it’s an eye opener and Lakewood residents should get involved to make changes like competitive grocery shopping choices for a town this size.
Fred Meyer and Walmart are too far or inaccessible to many of our local residents, especially seniors on tight budgets. Perhaps we on this thread should all go to the WinCo web site for starters and petition them to open a store in the Town Centre?
Form on WinCo’s web site to make request, I did it!
Cindy Harris says
You are absolutely right about this. lakewood has absolutely nothing good to offer anymore. no good food no good shopping they close down everything they had a whole mall in the town center and they closed it down the restaurants are what ever. they have more empty buildings or parking lot space they don’t do anything with……. nothing good ever lasts……
So what is going to replace Albertsons?????????
Julie Westbrook says
I guess that settles it!
I will live in Oakbrook, but grocery shop at Fred Meyer in University Place; they are always more affordable then Safeway!
Its easy Albertson’s flips banners, safeways is the cash cow of the company, they run skeleton crews, and do twice the work and 5× the sales of Albertson’s
Who own’s who?
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, owner of the Albertsons grocery chain, agreed to buy Safeway for more than $9 billion.
Here is the footprint, and I should know as I came for north of Boise, Idaho where Albertsons first began in 1939 prior to my birth of 10 years.
Susan Mitchell says
I was disappointed when we let Fred Meyer move to UP for Lowe’s. I prefer Fred Meyer. Now we’re stuck with Safeway. Never a fan of Safeway. Just hope they treat their people well. They have a bad history of re-wrapping expired meats (that was a long time ago) hope they’ve cleaned up their act. But we do need competition. Would love a Metro Market or Trader Joes’ something else indeed.
Wait, wait….Lowes was a Freddy’s. Clearly I haven’t been here long enough to know these Lakewood ghost stories of shops that folded. But I have been here over a decade and still am watching those big retail spaces at the Town Centre remain vacant.
That big space across from the movie theater – the one with that weird concrete plaza like area next too it (what IS that?) would be great for another grocery.
I just don’t understand Metro Market – the pricing, the intense vibe while shopping in there. It really seems like Lakewood had a moment to upgrade Saar’s or attract a WinCo but failed.
J. Gordon says
The big concrete slab is what’s left of the old Gottshalks Department Store. Lakewood Towne Center was once Lakewood Mall. There was an actual mall, with the Target Store, a food court across from the theater that had an interior entry at that time, a Mervyns store, and a whole slew of shops, including a pet store. Folks used to love to go early morning power walking in the mall. After a pretty sizable earthquake, there was enough damage to the infrastructures of the buildings, the decision was made to demolish the mall, and rebuild as a sort of strip mall with a few anchor buildings. I really preferred the old mall, and it gave senior citizens and young families a place to go walk around out of the elements, and do their window shopping, and actual shopping.
You are beyond helpful. For over 10 years I have wondered, asked around and obviously continued to wonder about that slab of ominous concrete.
Thank you for solving the mystery for me!
KM Hills says
I agree there needs to be more grocery options in Lakewood. I used to work for Safeway when it was located in the building next to City Hall. Back then they did treat their employees well and I assume still do since some of the same workers remain at the Towne Center Safeway. I mostly drive to Fred Meyer these days since the prices seem more fair but it is suspicious how we went from having Safeway, Albertsons, QFC, & Saars Market to Safeway or Safeway (Oh and . . . . Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. Come on you know you know the tune to that commercial)
I don’t think I would use a Trader Joes or Metropolitan Market but Towne Center seems like a good place for something, anything else beside just Safeway.
I always wondered if anyone does all of there grocery shopping at Target?
I am not a Target shopper so I may be the one person who never buy groceries at a Target. Saars was a great option, be it dicey at times – what WAS in that open meat freezer that seemed so crystalized but was still legally saleable?! Workers there were friendly and the selection of items was so helpful.
Getting to the UP Fred Meyer is not easy for many Lakewood residents who are disabled or seniors for example. Same goes for the nearby Walmart for grocery shopping.
Honestly, why couldn’t the Lakewood Town Centre attract a WinCo?
I like the options and the pricing. Metro Market will never be my go to even if I won the lottery, just too uptight and overpriced.
I would like the Town Centre and Lakewood City Council to give a serious look at reattracting Saars or romancing the powers that be at WinCo.
J. Gordon says
I’d like to see another grocery store open in the old QFC building, which now stands vacant ever since QFC closed that store. I’d REALLY love to see a U.S.Chefs restaurant supply store take that vacancy, because they’re open to the public as well, and their prices are very reasonable, food quality better, and you won’t believe your eyes if you go check one out.
There is a U.S.Chef store on Tacoma Mall Blvd. next to Ted Brown Music. It used to be the Canned Food Warehouse. There is another U.S. Chef store on 112th St. just East of Pacific, and behind the Parkland Chev. location. It’s a bummer to have to drive that far, but I think you’d find it well worth the drive, considering the quality of the food, and the bang you get for your bucks.
I just wonder why they bothered to spend the money changing the signage. Of course, they can pass the spending onto the customers.
Someone commented about “America’s broken food supply system.” I don’t understand that. How is it broken? Isn’t food available? And look at all the choices that Americans enjoy compared to other countries.
There is free food for those that supposedly can’t afford it. When is the last time you heard of anyone starving to death in the USA? It just doesn’t happen.
I have an Ag background so I should say that and I have lived outside of the US. Food choices may be more plentiful here but pricing and quality are a very obvious inverse relationship here.
Farmers over the past 25 years have been forced in to buyouts or been reduced to bankruptcy because factory farming is the norm in the US. This type of food production doesn’t equate to good nutrition over all.
Americans may not be starving in mass but our over all healthiness is questionable.
As for the topic of broken system and two Safeways as our retail food shopping choice locally – that is broken, or better a monopolistic situation. Lakewood City Council has allowed the town to be a one point of service option town now. This in no way will make Safeway have to be customer friendly or competitive as a company.
J. Gordon says
Yet many homeless Americans are literally starving, and experiencing extreme food anxiety, including families with children. Yes, there are churches that operate food pantries. But where is a homeless family going to store food purchases? Food prices are sky high. When we used to shop at Safeway, I’d often stand at the produce section and stare at the prices. I couldn’t afford as much fresh fruit and vegetables as I would have preferred for my family’s dietary needs, and meat was almost too expensive as well.
My husband and son discovered the U.S. Chef restaurant supply outlet stores. Many area restaurants purchase from this outlet, but they are also open to the public. We’ve found the food quality to be superior, and the pricing much lower. We were astounded in regards to how much food we could purchase, and for less money than it would have cost at a Safeway or Albertson store.
I’ve told all my friends and our employees about this store. There are only two locations in the area though. One on Tacoma Mall Blvd. in the old Canned Food Warehouse location next to Ted Brown Music, and one on 112th St. just East of Pacific, and located behind the Parkland Chev. location. The place is amazing, and I wish that they’d consider opening a branch in Lakewood. There is always the vacancy where the old QFC used to be.
J. Gordon says
Millions of children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day.
Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 42 million people may experience food insecurity, including a potential 13 million children.
The pandemic has most impacted families that were already facing hunger or one paycheck away from facing hunger.
According to the USDA’s latest Household Food Insecurity in the United States report, more than 35 million people in the United States experienced hunger in 2019.
Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity. Before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 10 million children live in food-insecure households.
Every community in the country is home to families who face hunger including rural and suburban communities.
Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support.
It’s interesting. I’ve read about programs in certain European nations where businesses are allowed to place unsold produce, and breads that are day old over the date, out in bins in front of the stores, free to anyone that needs them. I’ve read about people who go dumpster diving to find food, and I’ve been one who found it necessary in order to survive one summer semester in college, when my dad cleaned out the bank account and abandoned the family. I was 17, and all local summer jobs were taken by local kids. I had no idea there were resources through the city or county agencies that would assist me with food, because the church of my upbringing which also owned this college refused to assist me with food. If my family didn’t care, and my church didn’t care, why would a 17 year old think anyone else would care?
Saar’s left in part to the lease increase that they were unwilling to pay.
I would love to see a Trader Joe’s in Lakewood as well as WinCo. They would provide much needed variety.
Longtime residents will also remember GI Joes store and Gottschalks at the Lakewood mall or what many call/called Villa Plaza.
I shop US Chefs Store which most still call Cash&Carry before it rebranded as Smart Foods and now Chef’Store. They are and have been owned by large food distributer US Foods.
J. Gordon says
That was the reason we lost QFC at the colonial center, according to a friend of mine who managed that store. He said the lease was too high, and corporate headquarters said they didn’t bring in enough to justify the cost of keeping that store going. Which I found odd, because it was always filled with shoppers, and the lines went half way down the aisles when I was there.
I have never liked Safeway, even when I lived on the east coast. What is the purpose of changing the name? I will continue to shop at Freddy’s even though it is farther. Big corp. has done so much harm to the average householder. (Yes, I know Freddy’s is owned by Kroger.) Thanks to all of you for sharing new options. I will be looking into them. Lakewood should actively encourage additional shopping options.
The solution is a simple one: Don’t shop at Safeway.
Safeway’s ads often tell the shopper so much money is saved on an item listed. What is not revealed is that the “sale” price often remains higher than what can be purchased at a different store.
Because I do the cooking/baking in the house, I also do most of the shopping and am aware of food prices. I only shop at Safeway if it is certain that the best price is listed.
There are solutions to the problem of those who may find it difficult to shop elsewhere because of distance and/or physical disability. Where family is unavailable (they should be the first to help), friends may be asked to pick up what is needed on their next trip; rotating requests among friends eases their concerns.
Many churches and synagogues have programs to suit this need. There are organizations which will help. Public transportation is available; take a friend to make it a more fun trip.
The point is: With some planning, no one HAS to shop at Safeway. Safeway knows they are the only game in the town of Lakewood, and they will continue to keep their high prices as long as people support them. When that “support” is withdrawn, they will either lower their prices or leave. If they leave, someone else may move in.
Imagine a whole week of absolutely no one entering their stores except for employees. They might get the message. And if they don’t, continue to go elsewhere. It really is that simple.