Discount stores like Costco, Target and Wal-Mart are seducing customers with lower prices. The Harris Poll revealed that the top five factors in choosing where to shop are: 1. Cleanliness; 2. High quality meat; 3. Good produce; 4. Accurately marked shelf tags; 5. Low prices and convenient locations.
All of our supermarkets are trying to provide a nicer environment and increased services. Albertsons and Pavilions with their larger square footage offer ATM machines, lottery ticket machines and coin-sorting machines.
All of them have hot and cold deli food, pre-made sushi, organic products, an expanded wine and liquor section, plants and cut flowers, firewood and beach furniture.
Pavilion's offers a fresh soup bar, an olive bar, fresh salad and sandwich bar as well as a pharmacy.
Albertsons has a Starbucks Coffee bar and Dreyer's fresh-scooped ice cream. Its plant section includes a mini-nursery where you can buy seedlings, soil and fertilizer.
Ralph's features a sushi chef who prepares wonderful fresh sushi to order. In fact, all the stores have dramatically increased their selection of ethnic foods. Ralph's has the largest department for Mexican products and fresh tortillas. Pavilion's is strong on Italian and Jewish specialties and Albertson's is best for Asian.
The variety of convenience and prepared foods has expanded exponentially from the early days of top ramen, roast chicken and potato salad to fresh yakisoba noodles, carnitas and pesto tortellini, etc.
There are hundreds of varieties of "helpers" and "just adds" to make meals at home a snap. You can get pre-prepped salads, vegetables and fruit.