Last week I tried out the Homeland version of The Store Formerly Known As Albertson’s, and I was not particularly impressed, so this week I ventured out to a location taken over by Williams, at 7001 NW 122nd.
This one was a little harder to judge: the floor plan is totally different, so much of my evaluation time was spent in the tedious business of finding stuff. (I never did find the taco-seasoning mix. At the old store, it was located near the pasta the idea of putting it near the taco shells instead of 1.5 aisles away apparently doesn’t fit into contemporary marketing strategy but no such luck here.) And the aisles were seriously cluttered: evidently I’d hit them very early in the transition and they were busy restocking stuff.
One thing Williams had in common with Homeland: they weren’t going to a lot of trouble to get rid of old Albertson’s house-brand products. The 1.75-quart tub of A-brand ice cream, $3.99 in its original home, was $3.69 at one store, $3.79 at the other. As clearance sales go, this does not impress. The major difference between them, though, was that despite the fact that both these stores kept most of their personnel after the change, the Williams crew has a distinct good-ol’-boy (or -girl) flavor, the same one I’d seen in their now-defunct Mayfair Market. And unlike Mayfair, the new Williams store does not seem to stock unfrosted blueberry Pop-Tarts, which I reasoned would be shelved near the 62 other flavors.
I’m inclined to give these guys another shot in a week or so, to see if they’re a bit more organized, but they’ve got one strike against them: NW 122nd and Rockwell is a heck of a long way to go for groceries.