Store Tour Locations

One observer described the Las Vegas market as a combination of food stamps and millionaires. Discounters are popular, making the city competitive for food shopping. There are plenty of food stores, especially those serving Asian and Hispanic shoppers. The big conventional chains Smith's, Vons, Albertsons all do business here. The observer pointed out that Las Vegas lacks really upscale small specialty

One observer described the Las Vegas market as a combination of food stamps and millionaires. Discounters are popular, making the city competitive for food shopping. There are plenty of food stores, especially those serving Asian and Hispanic shoppers. The big conventional chains — Smith's, Vons, Albertsons — all do business here. The observer pointed out that Las Vegas lacks really upscale small specialty operators. This may be because fine dining by restaurants in the big hotels steals that show. Below is a small representation of some of the food stores to explore in the area. These Mapquest directions start from Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

ALBERTSONS-SAV-ON

7350 S. Rainbow Blvd.
(at Warm Springs Rd. and S. Rainbow Blvd.)

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Make a right onto W. Russell Rd. Turn left to take the I-15 S. ramp. Stay straight to go onto ramp. Merge onto I-15. Merge onto CR-215 W./Bruce Woodbury Belt via Exit 34. Take the Rainbow Blvd. exit, Exit 15. Merge onto CR-215 Frontage. Turn left onto NV-595/S. Rainbow Blvd. to Warm Springs Rd.

HIGHLIGHTS: This is one of the first remodeled Albertsons units in Las Vegas to feature Supervalu's premium fresh and healthy format, located in this southwest neighborhood where the average household income is $88,000 and the average sale price of a home is $350,000. While all remodeled Albertsons attest to a passion for food — the company motto is “Crazy About Food” — not all revamped stores are merchandised the same way. Each fresh and healthy module reflects the individual store's demographics. Supervalu is revamping these units using a “customer-centric” model. That means an Albertsons opened in 2007 at 2910 Bicentennial Parkway in Henderson features a Kosher Marketplace, whereas this unit contains a Shop the World department of international foods. Each remodeled unit is merchandised according to the local demographics. All fresh and healthy stores have expanded perishables, including produce, meat, seafood, bakery and deli departments. Wild Harvest is a store-within-a store of natural and organic foods. The store also has an enhanced and expanded pharmacy and health and beauty departments. Store services include one-hour photo and instant digital prints. Another fairly new Albertsons is located at 11720 West Charleston Blvd., near Desert Foothills Road.

FRESH & EASY NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET

7380 S. Eastern Ave.
(at Warm Springs Rd. and S. Eastern Ave.)

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S. Turn left at NV-562/E. Sunset Rd. Turn right at S. Eastern Ave. and continue to Warm Springs Rd.

HIGHLIGHTS: Fresh & Easy, the new small fresh food format from U.K.-based Tesco, said last month it plans to add 10 more stores in Las Vegas on top of the 11 it has already opened. Press reports said Fresh & Easy was taking over some Rite Aid locations; Rite Aid announced this year it would exit Las Vegas. The El Segundo, Calif.-based chain currently operates more than 60 stores throughout Southern California and in Arizona and Nevada. The name Fresh & Easy conveys the concept, which is being evaluated by Tesco after initial sales results failed to meet expectations since the chain made its California debut last year. The company touts itself as the neighborhood market, being about the size of a Trader Joe's, with a natural food selection, including prepared meals, at low prices. Prices on average are about 30% lower than those at conventional chains. The chain just began accepting American Express cards this year. There are no loyalty cards. In lieu of limited advertising, Fresh & Easy offers $5 coupons off with a purchase of $20 or more. It also assigns sell-by dates to produce and reduces prices near products' expiration dates. Private label accounts for about half of the 3,500 stockkeeping units, and PL items contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. The format is simple, with self-checkout, low shelving and wide aisles.

SUNFLOWER FARMERS MARKET

3365 E. Tropicana Ave.
(at E. Tropicana Ave. and S. Pecos Rd.)

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Make a U-turn at Four Seasons Dr. onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 N./The Strip. Turn right onto E. Tropicana Ave./NV-593 E.

HIGHLIGHTS: Wild Oats founder Mike Gilliland co-founded Sunflower and opened the chain's first store in 2002, one year after he left Wild Oats. Since that time, the Boulder, Colo.-based company has opened handfuls of stores throughout the Southwest. This location is one of two stores in Las Vegas. The other location is 4020 S. Rainbow Blvd. The chain said it will soon be expanding to Utah and Texas, with nine more locations added to the total of 14 stores it operates here and in New Mexico, Colorado and Phoenix. The concept was inspired by Henry's Farmers Markets, a Southern California chain acquired by Wild Oats in 1999. The smaller stores, which boasted a farmers' market-like appeal, stacked up well against the competition, namely Whole Foods. Sunflower's motto is “Serious Food … Silly Prices.” The chain states it offers “better-than-supermarket quality at better-than-supermarket prices.” The store has a heavy emphasis on produce, a nice selection of Harris Ranch meats and a large selection of bulk food. The retailer keeps operational costs low and passes its savings on to the customer. Sunflower sources directly, paying vendors quickly and buying almost everything by the pallet or truckload.

MARIANA'S MARKETS

4151 S. Eastern Ave.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S/The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Make a U-turn at Four Seasons Dr. onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 N./The Strip. Turn right onto E. Tropicana Ave./NV-593 E. Turn left onto S. Eastern Ave.

HIGHLIGHTS: Beginning with a tortilla establishment in 1989, the Anaya family has grown its business into a full-service grocery store with authentic Mexican products. Mariana's No. 1, at 2551 E. Bonanza Rd., was the first store in the Las Vegas area to provide consumers with the Hispanic supermarket concept. This is the latest Mariana's store, built in 2004 from the ground up. The store offers a juice bar, serving aguas frescas, natural juices and more. There are other departments well worth checking out. The Carniceria is a full-service butcher shop featuring a wide selection of fresh-cut meats like shoulder clod steak, chuck roll steak, homemade fresh chorizo and Mariana's famous marinated ranchera steak (carne asada) for the grill. La Panaderia Bakery offers an extensive variety of Mexican sweets and breads, including conchas, bolillos and empanadas. Mariana's says it produces the sweetest, most mouth-watering tres leches (three milks) cakes in town. La Cocina (The Kitchen) offers Authentic Mexican Food such as tacos, burritos, chiles rellenos, enchiladas, chile verde, homemade carnitas (deep-fried pork), fresh salsas and guacamole, chicharrons (fried pork rinds), juicy rotisserie chickens and homemade fresh tamales. The store's Tortilla Factory produces fresh corn tortillas daily.

SMART & FINAL

1453 E. Tropicana Ave.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Make a U-turn at Four Seasons Dr. onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 N./The Strip. Turn right onto E. Tropicana Ave./NV-593 E.

HIGHLIGHTS: This chain of 235 stores selling food and restaurant supplies is a smaller warehouse store, where busy households find great savings. Smart & Final competes across several traditional industry segments. It has evolved from a traditional “cash-and-carry” concept to a hybrid serving both the wholesale and retail market for food, supplies and culinary equipment. Although it competes with supermarkets for the purchasing dollars of household consumers, its low-price warehouse format and restaurant-quality product assortment clearly differentiate it from other competitors in that segment. It also competes with warehouse club stores, but is clearly differentiated by its smaller store size, its focus on a single product category and its lack of a membership fee. It might also be considered as a “category killer” (for restaurant-quality food and supplies). The chain operates stores not only in Nevada but also in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Idaho and northern Mexico.

99 RANCH MARKET

4155 W. Spring Mountain Rd.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto W. Russell Rd. Merge onto I-15 N. Take the Spring Mountain Rd. exit, Exit 39. Take the Spring Mountain Rd. E./Las Vegas Blvd. ramp. Turn slightly left to take the Spring Mountain Rd. W. ramp. Merge onto W. Spring Mountain Rd.

HIGHLIGHTS: One of the largest Asian American supermarket chains in the United States, 99 Ranch Market was established in 1984 by Roger H. Chen. Due to the demand for Asian food in the area, Chen opened his first store in Westminster, Calif. For the past 24 years, the retailer has satisfied the needs of immigrants by providing them with their hometown flavors. Most 99 Ranch Market locations have a full-service takeout deli serving a combination of Cantonese, Taiwanese and Szechuan fare. Some of the delis in the markets also feature precooked meats, such as Cantonese roast duck (huo ya) and barbecued pork (cha shao). These stores also have a bakery with cakes and fresh Chinese pastries, with most of the bread products and pastries being made inside the store. The chain operates mainly on the West Coast, especially in California, and also has stores in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Washington. It is also considered a Taiwanese American market because of the considerable amount of products imported from Taiwan and the fact that the founder is Taiwanese. The chain sells a wide range of imported food products and merchandise from Hong Kong, Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia (particularly Vietnam and Thailand). It also carries some domestic products made by Chinese American companies and a limited selection of mainstream American brands. In addition, it has also reached out to pan-Asian customers, especially Filipino Americans and Japanese Americans, by opening locations in areas where these two ethnicities are concentrated. Because 99 Ranch Market serves a predominantly Chinese American base, Mandarin Chinese serves as the lingua franca of the supermarket and its adjacent businesses. In-store PA announcements about specials are multilingual and are often spoken in English, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese, with certain stores also using Vietnamese.

INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE

5000 S. Decatur Blvd.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip toward Four Seasons Dr. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn right onto W. Russell Rd. Merge onto I-15 N. Merge onto US-95 N. via Exit 42A. Take the Decatur Blvd. exit, Exit 79. Turn left onto S. Decatur Blvd.

HIGHLIGHTS: Described as a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, International Marketplace might be akin to Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Here, brands and products from around the world are plentiful. You can buy chocolates from Brazil, soup mix from the Netherlands and soda pop from Japan. The 40,000 square feet of retail space is organized by continent and country. Entire aisles with high shelves are devoted to tea, coffee, noodles, olives, cooking oil, cocoa, and cans of mysterious vegetables, sauces, pastes and powders. The produce sections are piled high with lots of items that might not be too familiar. There's cheese from all corners of the world, plus a large selection of exotic cookies, crackers and snacks. Besides its extensive global selection of foods, the store also features a large inventory of furniture, dishes, indoor fountains, decor items, plants, toiletries, candy and cooking utensils. Most are Asian in origin. The selection of European chocolate bars is impressive, writes one reviewer. Another observer said, “It's quite a place. It's big. If you are a foodie, there are all kinds of hard-to-find ingredients, and the fish is fresh. Prices aren't what Whole Foods charges.”

WHOLE FOODS

100 South Green Pkwy.

Henderson, Nev.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Continue to follow Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S. Turn left onto George Crockett Rd. Stay straight to go onto the ramp. Merge onto I-215 E./Bruce Woodbury Belt. Take the Green Valley Parkway exit, Exit 5. Take the Green Valley Parkway S. ramp. Merge onto S. Green Valley Parkway. Make a U-turn at Village Walk Dr. onto S. Green Valley Parkway.

HIGHLIGHTS: This Whole Foods is less than two years old and is located in the fast-growing Henderson area. The store is described by one observer as being a very nice store that is run by an impressive and friendly staff.

SMITH'S FOOD AND DRUG

10616 S. Eastern Ave.
Henderson, Nev.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Continue to follow Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S. Turn left onto George Crockett Rd. Stay straight to go onto the ramp. Merge onto I-215 E./Bruce Woodbury Belt. Take the Eastern Ave. exit, Exit 7. Take the Eastern Ave. S. ramp. Merge onto S. Eastern Ave. Make a U-turn onto S. Eastern Ave.

HIGHLIGHTS: Smith's Food and Drug, a Kroger company, last month was voted — for the third year in a row — by Las Vegas Review Journal as the city's “best grocery store.” According to the analysis summary, “Smith's generally offers the cleanest and best-organized stores of the mass chain grocers in town. It also provides convenience, with baggers that still offer to help you out to your car and self-checkout stations. The drive-through windows at the pharmacy are another plus.” The stores are known for their friendly service; broad product selection and high quality; savings and rebates offered through the Fresh Values and rewards cards; fuel discounts; and a $4 price on more than 300 generic prescription drugs.

VONS

820 S. Rampart Blvd.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn right onto W. Russell Rd. Merge onto I-15 N. Merge onto US-95 N. via Exit 42A. Take the Summerlin Parkway exit, Exit 81A. Merge onto E. Summerlin Parkway. Take the Rampart Blvd. exit. Turn left onto N. Rampart Blvd., which becomes S. Rampart Blvd. Make a U-turn at Sir Williams Court onto S. Rampart Blvd.

HIGHLIGHTS: Another high-growth marketing area is northwest Las Vegas, where this Vons, a Safeway banner, is located. According to Vons' website, the chain services some of the most affluent, forward-thinking and culturally mixed communities in the U.S. Vons' business strategy is to provide for the needs of these communities with the highest-quality meat and produce at competitive prices. Vons has introduced shoppers to full-service banks within its stores, one-hour photo centers, professional pharmacies, dry cleaners and customer service centers that offer copying and faxing. The retailer prides itself in its commitment to quality. Most stores now contain full-service delis, scratch bakeries and complete floral departments. It offers the Safeway Select line of 1,200 premium private-label items.

WAL-MART SUPERCENTER

7200 W. Arroyo Cross Pkwy.

DIRECTIONS: Wal-Mart's website says to call the store for directions. While the above address is correct, store personnel said the location is at 215 S. Rainbow, at W. Warm Springs Rd. Mapquest could not pick up this address. Phone: 702-270-6003.

HIGHLIGHTS: The newest Wal-Mart Supercenter, located in the southwest part of the city, is a second-generation, high-efficiency building designed to use 25% less energy than a conventional supercenter and reduces the carbon footprint by 75%. This is one of five such supercenters Wal-Mart is opening around the U.S. One observer, who didn't know about the environmental aspects of the new store, said, “It looks totally different than all other [Wal-Mart] stores I've ever been in and it doesn't have all the overhead glass lighting.”

WAL-MART NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET

490 East Silverado Ranch Blvd.

DIRECTIONS: Southeast toward Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Turn slightly right onto Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S./The Strip. Continue to follow Las Vegas Blvd. S./NV-604 S. Turn left onto E. Silverado Ranch Blvd.

HIGHLIGHTS: While Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets have been much larger than the new Fresh & Easy stores, at just under 40,000 square feet they are Wal-Mart's version of the smaller-store food format. The new markets feature a full line of groceries, frozen food, meat and dairy products, fresh produce and a variety of organic offerings. Unconfirmed reports say Wal-Mart plans to scale down this format to about 20,000 square feet with a larger assortment of fresh foods.