BIZNOTE: 2 local Safeways on the renovation list

(Roxbury Safeway, Kiing County Assessor’s Office photo)

After this Seattle Times report about Safeway‘s renovation plans around the metro area, we checked to see if any local stores were on the list. Safeway’s Sara Osborne tells us yes:

The Roxbury remodel will start in July and the Junction remodel will start in October. The duration of the remodel usually takes about 2 months. Generally, all our remodels this year will include new self-checkout lanes, space dedicated to “Drive Up & Go” grocery pick-up services (if feasible at the location), updated interior décor, refreshed exterior, and upgraded service departments.

Our area’s other Safeway, Admiral, was fully rebuilt from the ground up eight years ago.

28 Replies to "BIZNOTE: 2 local Safeways on the renovation list"

  • Customer June 22, 2019 (4:39 pm)

    Hopefully they add more staff at the junction Safeway and widen the aisles. You can barely get two of the large carts down an aisle at the same time and I’ve seen wheelchair and walker users struggle with the tight spaces. They often only have one checker and put a focus on the new self-checkouts (which doesn’t work for us older folks with back issues) so there are often long lines, even during non peak hours. 

  • Chris June 22, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    We have noticed that there are less checkers now that Admiral Safeway has the new self checkouts.   It is as if they are trying to force customers over there.    Just as “customer” says not all of us can use those self checkouts.    We have also noticed more and more items disappearing and Safeway/Albertson’s brands being put on the shelves.    So frustrating.The staff is incredible though.   Courteous and helpful for which we are thankful.   Just wish upper management/owners would quit looking at the $$$$ so much and pay attention to the customers.

  • Dan Keller June 22, 2019 (6:00 pm)

    Finally.  Both these stores need help.  Love my North Admiral store.

  • WSobserver June 22, 2019 (6:22 pm)

    I refuse to shop at the junction Safeway, haven’t been in there in at least 5 years even though I visit that shopping center for other stores.  The produce is dreadful, the meat department worse, and half the stuff in the store is missing a price tag. I’m not buying something if I don’t know how much it costs.Worst grocery store around, absolutely rock bottom.

    • WSB June 22, 2019 (7:04 pm)

      We shop the locally owned independent/small-chain stores so I honestly don’t know the state of that store but – maybe it’s changed. 5 years is a very long time.

  • Josh June 22, 2019 (6:51 pm)

    So excited about Roxbury!!!

  • zipda June 22, 2019 (7:03 pm)

    Yep. Junction Safeway not so good.Went to buy bagels recently and every variety was burned.Stick to Admiral one.

  • Julia June 22, 2019 (10:08 pm)

    QFC is moving to self-checkout lanes. I spoke to the Junction store manager a while ago, was told it’s almost impossible to hire – and keep – staff. People will work for a few shifts and then just not show up. Most retail and restaurants have Help Wanted signs. BTW, I increasingly shop at Thriftway because they have NO self-checkout lanes.

    • ITotallyAgreeWithYou June 22, 2019 (11:51 pm)

      Good companies that treat their employees well don’t have employee retention problems. Retail and restaurants have always had high turn over but it wasn’t so long ago that grocery clerks could and did stay with a store for years and years. That’s still the case with stores such as PCC, Met Market, and Costco, all of which have reputations for treating employees well. That said both PCC and Costco have self check outs and its a slippery slope that concerns me.  UFCW has stated what we already know- self check outs replace workers. I support my fellow Seattleites by refusing to use self check outs. 

  • Cid June 23, 2019 (7:09 am)

    The staff at Roxbury are so nice, I go out of my way to go there over the Jefferson Square Safeway. Are the stores going to stay open while they renovate? 

  • anonyme June 23, 2019 (8:58 am)

    One reason these stores might have retention issues is due to scheduling.  Employee schedules vary wildly from week to week, with the schedules usually coming out just a week in advance.  Makes it impossible to plan – or have a life.   I knew someone who quit Thriftway recently because of this issue.  I remember Safeway employees expressing concern that they would lose their jobs due to self check-out.

  • M.B. June 23, 2019 (9:48 am)

    One of the best things the Roxbury Safeway could do is buy more electric carts for Seniors/Disabled persons. Some numpty stole one of them a couple of weeks ago, and took the cord to the second one, leaving Safeway with no working electrical cart.

  • Joan June 23, 2019 (10:09 am)

    Remodels will be good. I doubt  I’ll ever go to QFC at the Junction again because that building has done something VERY strange – they had two elevators that you could take to QFC and Petco. Now they have cordoned them off and only one goes to QFC and the other goes to Petco. When I was there recently and parked in the lower garage, I could not get an elevator to come. When I finally got to Petco, I could not get an elevator to go down. I finally got  out in  QFC and tried to get to the lower level. What a huge hassle. It took a while to get an elevator. If I ever  have to go to either store again, I will park somewhere else and walk in. Talk about driving customers away! What were they thinking? I don’t mind self-checkouts, when I only have a few things, except when they have a problem, and they always do. They always have to have a staff member babysit them.

    • East Coast Cynic June 23, 2019 (10:57 am)

      You can time the QFC Junction elevator with a calendar.  I stick w/ using the stairs to get to the parking.

    • Karen June 23, 2019 (11:11 am)

      Not just the elevator problems which have been going on for months but they are filthy.   I was forced to use the restroom a few weeks ago, it is not maintained either.   There were empty shelves on multiple aisles.   We have to use  that pharmacy due to insurance constraints and that staff is professional and welcoming.  But I am spending my grocery money at Thriftway, Met Market or TJ’s.

      • Seattle Sue June 25, 2019 (7:29 am)

        Just a quick shout-out to the pharmacy folks at QFC: Y’all are awesome people who take an interest in the people you serve!

  • carole June 23, 2019 (11:24 am)

    QFC staff told me they were working with the building’s owner(s) re: the elevator.  I believe they are only tenants.  If true, the owners are pretty negligent.  That elevator has been down for many months.  Do we know the owners? Perhaps public pressure can be applied.  Or perhaps it is an ADA/safety issue.  I know if my condo’s elevator was non-functioning the annual city inspection would result in a notice and possible fine. QFC has also locked the bathroom doors, so you have to ask to ask staff for access. Makes you feel like a 5 year old requesting permission from teacher.  And I refuse to use the self checkout. If I wanted to bag groceries I’d be a checker.  I won’t put people out of work.

    • Karen June 23, 2019 (1:52 pm)

      The owner is well known around WS.   He is busy building other ugly buildings in the Junction.

      • Rumbles June 24, 2019 (7:03 am)

        What other buildings has he built around the junction?

  • Brayton June 23, 2019 (12:25 pm)

    Living within blocks of the Junction, I always go to QFC. The Safeway feels cramped, dark, unkempt, and the chronic retail issue of no cashiers. I spent 13 years in retail and fully understand the payroll constraints put on stores, but understanding doesn’t make me want to visit.I find Thriftway to be a nice store, but a lot of the items are much more expensive. Met Market is also nice, but still very expensive. QFC is a happy medium for me, and Costco is good when I need big quantities. At least Costco is known for compensating their staff better than average. Soon we’ll have four grocery stores in the junction. It will be interesting to see how they all fare while trying to attract customers from the same pool. 

  • Mj June 23, 2019 (12:38 pm)

    I remember 8 years ago when the Admiral Safeway was being rebuilt.  Shopping at Met Market unfortunately was not an option due to much higher pricing.  I do shop Met Market for specialty items, but basic groceries no.  And I remember the junction Safeway not a good store to shop at.  It definitely needs an upgrade.

  • Just ducky June 23, 2019 (12:52 pm)

    From what I understand, the heavy rain and snow over the winter caused a leak into the elevator shaft and damaged the workings, though there have always been issues with the elevators there.Anyway, to access the area to repair the elevator, they need to cut a hole into a large portion of Petco, I don’t know any more than that. 

  • Also John June 23, 2019 (12:52 pm)

    Hhmmmmm…..I have no issues with the Admiral Safeway.  Works fine for me.  People expect to much.

  • Trickycoolj June 24, 2019 (7:57 am)

    I remember the first time I went to Junction Safeway after getting the keys to my new place over here. They had melting egg shaped Easter bunny cakes almost two weeks after Easter. Yuk. Junction Safeway also has a pretty small footprint I wonder how they’ll pull it off? Westwood QFC has significantly less product choice since their remodel. Plus they’re plagued with the same problem as TJ on Sunday and Monday: empty produce bins. Same with Roxbury Safeway. Hope when Whole Foods and PCC come back online that it will take some of the demand off of the more affordable stores. I’ve been more strategic with Costco and my freezer.

  • Lola June 24, 2019 (9:23 am)

    I have never seen a self – check out at a Costco store?  Have I missed something?  I refuse to use the Self Check out at the grocery stores as every time I have ever used them It always says you  need to put your groceries into the bag.  I have all the groceries in the bag so not sure what it needs now?  I always have to get the checker to come over and help.  Really?????  I now refuse to use them. Beside’s I am not getting paid by the grocery store to self check, and I am putting someone out of work.  Checkers please help me to check out my groceries.  

    • Maria June 24, 2019 (2:41 pm)

      Haha – I know what you mean.   The worst part is that this machine sounds like it is scolding me – “Place your item into the bagging area!”It’s okay to make mistakes though, and over time I’ve gotten to understand the nuances of the self check out machines and only occasionally need the staff to override an error.  Generally I get through faster using self check because I rarely get a large cart load, so I appreciate that option.   If I have a lot though, I go through the cashier.  The  nice thing is that I have a CHOICE.   If there is only 1 or 2 cashiers it may be my choice to wait even if it takes longer, but  they have strategically made me think.   Businesses absolutely have strategies for “creating customer behaviors”  — they want you to automate.   But businesses will certainly change if they start losing customers,  but something tells me that they aren’t losing many since the trend is still towards automation.

  • mrsB June 24, 2019 (12:42 pm)

    Costco on 4th has just introduced self-checkouts and I’m a huge fan.  Always use them back east and they’re great if you only have a few items.  The Issaquah store was the first to have them in our area.  I’ve never had a problem with the self-checkouts at QFC (or any of the other stores that have them).  Personally I d rather scan my shopping then I know that everything has been scanned correctly.  It’s quicker and once you get used to it, simple to do.  As far as causing job loss, most of the stores in the area are understaffed anyway and I don’t think that’s by choice.

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