The Safeway at City Vista (490 L Street NW) has made several changes over the last few months. Early in the year we noticed all the tables and chairs removed from the cafe space as the area was generally only being utilized by the homeless and employees. In July the Fifth Street entrance was closed due to reports of high levels of shoplifting (estimated at ~$11K/mo). A month later the store expanded operations to be open for business 24 hours per day. In September the store began asking to check receipts of customers upon exit to attempt to further squash shoplifting. Many customers felt this to be merely security theater than a meaningful way to curb shoplifting.
In late October Safeway had a mini-marketing campaign suggesting they would have a grand re-opening. I was mailed a reusable grocery bag and information on discounts related to the re-opening day. I was out of town that re-opening weekend and had some skepticism that there would really be much change going on.
On Saturday morning I did visit the Safeway and noticed a series of improvements. I was only in the store for a few minutes but here are my observations of the positive changes:
- Former Cafe space now repurposed for greeting cards. This allows the aisle space the cards previously used to be allocated to product. Seems several aisles have been reorganized.
- Two new Self checkout stations. Not next to the other self-check outs. They are at the other end of the checkout area.
- Refrigerated beer area expanded substantially. Some of the wine aisle space was converted.
What other changes have you noticed? What else would you change? Let’s try to be forward looking and constructive rather than repeating the same gripe about a couple of bad experiences from two years ago.