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Albertsons reimagines shopping experience at marquee stores

Albertsons Cos.’ retail innovation is in full force at two of its marquee stores: the Albertsons Market Street in Meridian, Idaho, and the Safeway supermarket in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

At 110,000 square feet, the Meridian Albertsons Market Street is the chain’s biggest store and represented a next-generation shopping experience for the retailer when it opened in March 2019. Situated at 3499 E. Fairview Ave., the store houses a full bar, called Talon Tap & Spirits, and features a large restaurant-style food court, a walk-in wine cellar, international cuisine, favorite local foods, an expanded selection of meat and seafood, big pet and baby care sections, a full pharmacy, gourmet food options, live music, cooking classes and catering services.

The Meridian store has become Albertsons’ flagship location and, according to Intermountain Division President John Colgrove, builds on the innovation achieved by the previous flagship store at 1218 S. Broadway Ave. in company’s hometown of Boise.

“Last July, we opened our spectacular new store on Broadway that delivered an amazing new shopping experience for our hometown customers,” Colgrove said at the March 6, 2019, opening of the Meridian store. “Albertsons Market Street expands on that experience in this next-generation store. We have a tremendous assortment of fresh, local and ready-to-eat offerings all in one convenient location on the corner of Eagle and Fairview. It truly is a dazzling store, staffed with culinary and health-and-wellness professionals.”

The Safeway Capitol Hill store, located at 415 14th St. SE in the District of Columbia, opened just weeks ago, on Aug. 12. Replacing an older Safeway supermarket, the 60,236-square-foot location is Safeway’s 12th store in Washington, D.C., and marks the banner’s first new D.C. store since the Petworth Safeway opened in 2014.

Albertsons Cos. said the Capitol Hill Safeway is the only supermarket in D.C. to carry spirits, wine and beer. The alcohol section houses a separate spirits room and a glass-enclosed 500-bottle walk-in wine cellar, and a wine steward is on hand to help customers. Meanwhile, the bakery department offers made-in-store breakfast and dessert items and has a Nuts on Clark goumet popcorn shop plus an Italian-style gelato and sorbet bar. And in the deli department are new offerings such as poutine, a BBQ sandwich bar, a sushi bar, poke bowls, charcuterie, and grab-and-go packaged meal options. An adjacent cheese shop has over 200 varieties of specialty cheese. Also next to the deli area, and the Starbucks coffee bar, is a café seating area. There’s sidewalk seating outside the store as well.

Skilled butchers providing custom-cutting services headline the meat department, which offers dry-aged beef and a wide array of organic, grass-fed, natural and choice-grade beef, plus organic and antibiotic-free chicken. The seafood section features a raw oyster bar, with a selection of nine local oysters, and the service case displays a potpourri of seafood, including natural, fresh, smoked and local items.

Highlighting the produce department are a bevy of organic fruits and vegetables, an expanded assortment of fresh-cut produce, and premium juice and beverages such as kombucha and fresh-squeezed juices. A full-service floral department offers fresh-cut flowers and roses, do-it-yourself cut bunches, mixed bouquets and custom arrangements made by in-house floral designers. And in the center-store area are more than 3,700 new products, including hundreds of new specialty items in grocery, dairy, frozen, and health and beauty, with an emphasis on natural, organic, healthy and ethnic products.

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