Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wanna Buy a Grocery Store?

So...Despite all the assurances that the Haggen's in Port Angeles wouldn't be sold...It's gonna be sold.

Well, that is to say, it's going to be put up for sale. The question is, would anyone really want to buy it?

Empty Storefronts: They're not just for downtown!


44 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't see THAT coming.

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  2. If you believe the local boosters, Port Angeles is "The Best Town, Ever". Problem is, it just plain sucks in so many ways, it is hard to believe anybody wastes their time and money here.

    Haggens didn't have a choice. When they bought Albertsons, they got the store in Port Angeles. Package deal.

    But, how long did it last? Has it even been 12 months, and now the store is up for sale? It begs the question: If Port Angeles is the "Best Town Ever", why is something as basic as a supermarket closing? If they were making money, wouldn't they still be in business?

    Okay, maybe it is just the chain that is bankrupt, and it has nothing to do with this particular store. Fine, we'll see who steps in to buy the store.

    Country Aire?

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    1. Country Aire has enough trouble as it is to stay afloat, let alone take over another grocery store.

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    2. Really? Place is busy every time I go in there. What's your rational for that statement? I bet that place brings more people downtown than any retail business in the history of PA.

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    3. Busy is a relative word. Compared to the Walmart in town?

      Consumers have choices when it comes to where they want to go, spend time browsing, and purchase things. As we see every day, downtown, very few choose to patronize downtown businesses, but they flock to Walmart morning, noon and night.

      Why? Because Walmart offers what people want, like Donald Trump does. Is what either offer good for the local community? No. But those that care only for their personal gain have no difficulty in telling people what they want to hear, no matter how un-wise it is.

      So, we are told via heavy advertising that the only thing that matters is cheap products, and that saving money will help us live better. There is a certain logic to it, if you don't go too deep. Who cares that the products are made anywhere but here? Who cares that Walmart buys products from manufacturers that use the lowest paid labor it can find? I don't see it, so it doesn't matter to me.

      But, in "living well", we give our money to the biggest multi-national corporation in the world, and don't support our local community.

      This isn't new information. Every one knows dollars spent at Walmart go away. But, immediate gratification is way more powerful than doing the right thing.

      Watching the crowds yell their support for Trump's plans to ban all Muslims, or any of his other blatantly racist, anti-democratic rants shows how effective the dumbing down of America has been. And how flat out selfish so many Americans have become.

      Just look at the parking lot of Walmart any time you drive by, and think about what you're looking at.

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  3. The whole Albertson's/Safeway/Haggen thing is a fiasco. Merge, sell off some stores, wait until the bankruptcy, buy back some of the stores....holy crap, what a joke. What was the point?
    So, now we'll have Safeway and??? in PA. I hope they choke on their greed. I wont' shop there.

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    1. You remember that movie, where the Wall Street whiz-kid was buying and selling other companies as their means of income and profit. What happened to people in the process was of little concern to them, as long as the Whiz kid made money on the transaction.

      As you have likely heard, the gap between the richest Americans, and poorest has grown ever wider. The other day, it was stated the top wealthiest 200 PEOPLE have more money than the bottom HALF of the entire population of the country!

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  4. Meanwhile...Someone just landed on this blog by searching for "where to buy heroin port angeles."

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    1. It doesn't seem appropriate, but that is FUNNY!

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    2. So, where can you buy heroin?

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  5. You people may see this in a negative light, but I prefer to look on the bright side and see the possibilities. And, let's face it, possibilities abound!

    So, Haggen's is going bankrupt and they're trying to sell this lame property, right? Well, let's face it folks, no one is going to buy this property, No ONE. So, it's gonna close. That's a fact and as soon as we face it and admit it, we can move on.

    So now we come to the possibilities of the situation. Yeah, I know, I know. You negative whiners are gonna say "Well, I don't see any possibilities here, man" and that's where you're wrong. Just plain wrong.

    So, let's step aside from the Haggen's thing and look at downtown. If you're like me, when you're downtown the first thing you notice is all the low income types hanging around the DHHS office. I mean, you've seen them, right? These low income folks attract the homeless and the folks that just want to hang out. It all gives downtown a bad vibe, am I right? Sure I'm right.

    So now that Haggen's will be closing out, let's move the DHHS to the Haggen's building and the low income types and other dead beats can go clutter up that part of town.

    Genius idea or what, right?

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    1. Downtown should be - SHOULD BE - the commercial core of a community. That core then provides the jobs and tax dollars that make funding social services possible. So, yes, your observations and suggestion make a great deal of sense.

      Which means it will likely go absolutely nowhere.

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    2. There a a bunch of problems with your proposal.

      First, thinking the homeless, disadvantaged, disabled and people with issues that cause problems in their lives should be moved out of town is nasty. Only people who show that they are wealthy enough to buy stuff from stores downtown, should be allowed to walk the streets?

      And, the store in Port Angeles won't likely be sold as an individual entity. The sale will be for a block of stores, and bought by another chain retailer. As before, when Haggens bought this store, it was a package deal.

      So, it isn't likely to be about a local entrepreneur buying the store, or it being available for DHHS to locate to. It will be yet another chain retailer buying a pig in a poke.

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    3. Hey, first of all, thank you so much for oversimplifying, you know, stuff, and also for, you know, misstating what was said. No one said that disabled people should be moved "out of town." (Speaking of which, your ablism is showing in your use of the phrase "walk the streets." I could reply, "Oh, only people who can WALK should be allowed downtown, eh? WHY DO YOU HATE PETER RIPLEY SO MUCH?"

      Anyway...All that is being said is maybe, just maybe, it's not a really good idea to center a lot of social service offices and whatnot in your commercial core. Especially when said core should - SHOULD - be your economic engine in so many ways. Especially when you've got yahoos in charge continuing to spend tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to convince tourists to come to Port Angeles. See our new Budget-Buster Beach! And our empty storefronts! And our, ooh, DSHS office downtown! Ooh!

      Or do you think that all of the above is part of a "nasty" plan to lure tourists to town, then force them to take a homeless person with them when they leave? What?

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    4. Where to start? No one is saying the needy have to be moved out of downtown? That is exactly what you are saying. And why should all the services be moved out of "the commercial area"? Because they can't operate in those areas? Or, because their clients are not pretty enough for the non-existent tourists? Could they be downtown if they all wore LA Gear? Carried Apple computers?

      Really, wake up and see the reality of the situation, as has been described so often here. Hundreds of thousands of tourists have been driving through this town every year, for decades. The town, with it's yahoos making sure their nests are well feathered, have created an environment sufficiently unpleasant that these hundreds of thousands of tourists don't even have to stop to find out.

      Yeah, the cronies can continue to waste money on "tourism", but after all these decades of failure, maybe we can take some time to think about WHY it hasn't worked, despite the literally millions spent, for all these decades.

      And, as we know, it is the jobs from the services for the needy that keep Port Angeles alive.

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    5. "the low income types and other dead beats can go clutter up that part of town. "

      Wow. Just wow. I really hope you're being sarcastic, because that shows a complete lack of empathy for people down on their luck.

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    6. Does Port Angeles have any HIGH income types, other than a few overpaid government bureaucrats?

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    7. Kaj Ahlburg.
      Oh, my mistake. He lives outside of city limits, where taxes and utility bills are lower.

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    8. define "hi-income-types". Aren't there still members of the Priest family around?

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  6. This news (grocery store closing) comes just a couple of days after we were, once again, discussing how many grocery stores there are in our town. We live in a place that has essentially twice the population of Port Angeles. But we have close to a dozen grocery stores (counting the co-op) - a ridiculous number. Port Angeles will soon be down to just one Safeway, but we have two - plus high end supermarkets, low rent supermarkets, the aforementioned co-op, and even places I've never, ever set foot in, like Wal-Mart and Trader Joe's. (Sorry, Pat Downie...)

    There used to be the expression about one stop light towns, but in the modern world that might have switched to one grocery store towns as the shorthand descriptor of podunk, remote little places. I mean, doesn't Forks have just one grocery store? How many are there in Sequim? And how many cars are there right now in the Wal-Mart parking lot?

    And for clarification...Yes, I know that Port Angeles also has Country Aire, but I'm mostly talking about towns and economies that are of a size that attracts name brand, multiple outlet "players" to want to get in. Thus, while as a practical matter for residents, Country Aire may serve as a second choice of grocer, on the larger playing field, Port Angeles will soon be a one grocery store town. I just don't see any of the big (or even medium) grocery store chains seeing it as an attractive or potentially lucrative market to get into.

    In other words, grocery stores could be seen as a sort of indicator species. Our town is in a country that consistently has some of the lowest unemployment in the state. Thus we have a great abundance of grocery stores. Port Angeles, on the other hand, has persistently high unemployment, a shrinking population, and a shrinking pool of going commercial concerns - including grocery stores.

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    1. It may not be as black and white as you describe it. Yes, there is a disproportionate number of PA residents receiving government assistance i.e. welfare. Our town lacks businesses and industries that pay livable jobs. We have a City Council and County Commissioners that provide virtually no vision and leadership for the future. In the case of the Commissioners, the one who is leaving actually hurt us. One might conclude that we're destined for stagnant growth and progress.

      But at the same time, there is a seemingly silent growth spurt of retirees that are choosing to move here - mostly from the I-5 Corridor - but people from all around the country as well. Yes, most move to Sequim - but they're moving to PA too. They're buying homes and helping the local economy, - they're paying taxes. As the national economy improves - we will see continued growth. Our City Council is out head hunting for businesses to move here to provide jobs - gee, how much success have they had? All you have to do is ask someone who has moved here recently and they will give you a positive list of what is good about Port Angeles. Talk to a realtor or a builder about who's moving to the area.
      Prior to the last two recessions, the projected County population was pegged to exceed 100k within ten years - mostly because of the retirees. Like it or not, retirees represent out future financial growth and stability. And they're starting to return, mostly, because our national economy has improved. Demographically, there is a movement afoot in Port Angeles, Sequim and the County that not many people are talking about. Just saying . . . things are not as black and white as the picture is often painted here.

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    2. The PDN article said the sale would be in Feb? Sure will be deadsville in Port Angeles, then.

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    3. The US economy is totally reliant on fossil fuel development, which the all but free money the Feds made available with the trillions given away as "economic stimulus" was spent on oil shale development, otherwise known as "fracking".

      Anybody who thinks fossil fuels represent a source of economic growth and stability in this day and age in not paying attention to current events.

      Anybody who thinks the future is bright for Port Angeles is just convincing themselves of what they want to hear.

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    4. "All you have to do is ask someone who has moved here recently and they will give you a positive list of what is good about Port Angeles." How silly is this? This is like saying " Ask somebody about the new car they bought". Do you honestly think somebody who just spent all the time, money and effort to move here is going to say anything that would infer they made a bad decision? Of course they, as the new car owner will, are going to tell how great their newest acquisition is.

      Ask them in a couple years.

      And "Talk to a realtor or a builder about who's moving to the area." Seriously? A realtor as a source of truth? Integrity? Honesty? Look at Dan Gase?

      Back to the car analogy. You really think the used car dealer is what people think of, as a source of honest, objective information? That the car dealer isn't employing every trick and tactic they've been taught to convince you the car is the best thing since Jesus Christ?

      Really.

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    5. "Port Angeles will soon be down to just one Safeway" Oh? Did I miss something? Which Safeway is closing? When? Source?

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    6. Hello Troll at 8:40 PM...As you well know, there is only one Safeway in Port Angeles. That is the only (major) grocery store - and Safeway - that will be left soon. Any other questions, you moron?

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    7. Because as you surely know, the other Safeway, the one you're undoubtedly referring is OUTSIDE the city limits.

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    8. CK sez: "Our town is in a country that consistently has some of the lowest unemployment in the state."

      Your state has a country within it, CK?

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    9. Oops! Well, the university here has a great many international students, so maybe...Naw. It was a slip of the fingers. Oops!

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    10. Excuse me? Moron? Troll? Moron again. Not sure what I did to deserve that. I just wanted to know if you'd heard something I hadn't and where you'd heard it.

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    11. My apologies. The comments seemed trollish, so...

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  7. Sorry OT, but the climate change article in today's PDN should bring out a blizzard of LTEs from our local stable of climate deniers,

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  8. The Port Angeles Albertson's was one of the peak performing stores. The Port Angeles Haggen's was one of the "core stores" Haggen's was trying to hold onto. But Haggen's took on way more stores than they could afford (seriously, they went from, what, 18 to a couple hundred overnight?) and now they're scrambling for cash. That's probably an oversimplification, but it's not exactly the "OMG Port Angeles SuXorz" scenario presented. Also, like a previous commenter stated, Haggen's isn't selling off the Port Angeles store, they're auctioning off a block of their core stores of which Port Angeles is one of I think 30 or so? I can't really think of what supermarket might have the financial power to buy 30 stores, but it's likely they'd keep that branch open. It does serve the West End of Port Angeles, including Joyce.

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    1. Like your mom told you, sound it out.

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  9. Interesting story from a few weeks ago, which kind of validates what CK has suggested. The below shows that stores have been snapped up all over the west coast, including Washington State, but the one in Port Angeles is not on either list.

    Gee, I wonder why.


    http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2015/11/haggen_has_found_buyers_for_91.html

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  10. Folks, it's holiday shopping time and I know you're busy making your list and checking it twice. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, let's not forget one thing - the Lincoln Theater is still for sale!

    Yes, the Lincoln Theater would make the perfect holiday gift for that person on your gift list who has just about everything. Everything, that is, except a run down, long vacant movie theater - excuse me, I mean, potential performing arts center! Just think of the joy and wonder in their eyes when you present them with the deed to the Lincoln Theater!

    This is a one of a kind opportunity, so don't let it slip away. Remember, Christmas comes but once a year and with the Lincoln, there's always next year!

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    1. And if you're going to buy the Lincoln for some lucky, lucky person, don't forget to buy the gift wrap for it locally.

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    2. We're definitely overdue for some Lincoln Theater articles in the PDN!

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  11. Off topic but of interest...
    Commissioner’s work session conflicted over indigent defense proposal

    Opinion by Dale Wilson

    After 30 years of successful indigent defense counsel provided by the Clallam Public Defender’s office outgoing county commissioner Jim McEntire tasked the county administrator with putting out a Request For Proposals for this million dollar contract.

    Not surprisingly only two attorneys responded to the RFP. One is Harry Gasnic, executive director of Clallam Public Defender, a non-profit, and the other is Will Payne, former appointed interim county prosecutor and now principal in Payne Law, a for-profit legal corporation.

    The RFP published by the county sought a bid for handling the indigent defense associated with District and Superior Court. Clallam Public Defender’s bid covered both courts. Payne Law provided a proposal to handle only those indigent cases at District Court where Rick Porter presides.

    It seems McEntire and Bill Peach are adamant about awarding at least a part of this contract to Will Payne. Peach said he would like to get some “fresh blood” in the process. Clallam Public Defender’s office has never had a suit filed against them, or the county, for inadequate defense, according to Jim Jones, County Administrator.

    Payne was defeated by Mark Nichols in his bid to become the elected county prosecutor at the last election.

    Outgoing commissioner McEntire stated that the deputy county prosecutor assured him he could vote on the appointment of Will Payne as indigent defense counselor even though Payne is a “good friend” of Commissioner McEntire. McEntire cast one of the votes making Payne the interim county prosecutor when Deb Kelly resigned before completing her term.

    The political intrigue does not end there. McEntire also suggested one, or more, attorneys in the firm of Clallam Public Defender is unwelcome in the District Court of Judge Rick Porter. Porter was in the audience for the discussion on the appointment of a new public defender and left as soon as that part of the agenda concluded.

    This is unusual since a judge is sworn to be unbiased and, if unable to hear a case in an unbiased manner, must recuse himself from that case. Reason being–if the judge has the red-ass against a particular lawyer then this bias will likely leak over onto the defendant and will cause that defendant to suffer a biased court.

    When a judge recuses a “conflict judge” will sit in for the conflicted judge.

    What is more unusual is for a judge to attempt political influence on the appointment of indigent defense counsel for the county. Is it the people’s court or is it the judge’s court? Does the judge get to decide who gets practice in “his” courtroom? Perhaps Porter prefers “friendly” attorneys in his court room. One’s who will ignore a bully on the bench.

    What makes this so important is more than the million dollar contract for indigent defense. Readers of this paper may remember Port O Call’s coverage last year of a lawsuit entitled Wilber v Mount Vernon. In this multi-million dollar decision a federal judge ruled against two Washington cities saying they systematically violated the rights of poor defendants to have legal representation.

    This decision put on notice cities and counties throughout Washington and the 9th District they would be under greater scrutiny as a result of this decision. The court even suggested limiting the number of indigent defense cases each attorney could handle. The limit, according to Payne, is 400 misdemeanor cases. Even less if the attorney is also handling felonies.

    Porter should already be “on notice” as a result of the ACLU’s reprimand of his Pay or Appear program and rumors of half a dozen complaints filed against him with the Board of Professional Responsibility. One off-the-record report accuses Porter of causing a woman to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider in his courtroom. Porter refused comment.

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  12. So, the people voted against continuing fluoridation of the water in Port Angeles.

    Will be interesting to see what the City Council does.

    Remember, the last time people voted against fluoridation, and the City went ahead with it, anyways.

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