Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

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Ephrata1966
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Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Ephrata1966 » 15 Jun 2009 17:49

I found a former Randalls at 923 S. Mason Road in Katy, Texas. The store looks odd for a Randalls, and kind of resembles the former Safeway at 21155 Tomball Parkway in Houston, Texas which was sold to AppleTree, then Randalls. That store opened in 1983. The store in Katy looks much bigger though. Part of the roof is arched, so possibly it was a classic early 60's Safeway that was expanded. I heard that Safeway first entered the Houston market in 1970, if Marina Safeways were built that late. Ironically, as we all know Safeway owns Randalls now. I am unsure when the Randalls in Katy closed (relocated?), but it was before the 15 Randalls closures in 2005. There was an Albertsons in Katy that became Randalls when they exited the Houston market in early 2002, so it may have relocated there. The Randalls in The Woodlands, which I believe was built in 1984 as Randalls, relocated to the former Albertsons there.

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby wnetmacman » 16 Jun 2009 00:02

I think the arch you're referring to in the back is just over the mechanical rooms. It does not run the length of the store. I also believe that the store is both too new and too big to be a Safeway. The other store you reference is much smaller. When SWY left Texas in 1987-1988, the largest stores they had there were in the 45-50000 sq. ft. range. The Katy store is much bigger. It also has a non-standard entrance for Safeway. In that era, the new stores they built were very non-descript. I don't think that Safeway had built more than four new stores in Texas in the three years before they left.

I really think this was an original Randalls. They are big on the large entrances.
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Ephrata1966
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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Ephrata1966 » 21 Jun 2009 22:13

I just looked at the old Randalls in The Woodlands (now offices) in Live Maps. It has the same arch. Now I concur the one in Katy was always a Randalls, and no sources I can find list it as anything else.

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby tForTx » 07 Jul 2009 22:46

I believe the Mason Rd. location was a Randalls. I worked for Safeway from 1982 and 1987 and have no recollection of any stores in the I-10 corridor west of Highway 6. An example of the architecture of the Houston area Safeways opened in the early 80's can be found at 1990 Old Spanish Trail. It is now a Krogers.

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Ephrata1966 » 03 Jan 2010 01:30

Randalls (NOT Safeway) acquired some Weingarten's stores in 1984. Perhaps this was one of those stores, remodeled and expanded? I am unclear though on whether the Weingarten's were sold and rebranded or closed.

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Groceteria » 03 Jan 2010 13:55

Ephrata1966 wrote:Randalls (NOT Safeway) acquired some Weingarten's stores in 1984. Perhaps this was one of those stores, remodeled and expanded? I am unclear though on whether the Weingarten's were sold and rebranded or closed.

I have to respectfully question this statement. A quick search reveals numerous references to the fact that Grand Union sold approximately 46 Weingarten stores in Texas and Louisiana to Safeway in 1984. For example, from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/17/business/grand-union-sets-property-auction-elmwood-park-nj-jan-16-ap-grand-union-company.html

The "other buyers" mentioned in that article were apparently Randall's and Gerland's.

There's another thread on this topic here:

http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=883

Ephrata1966
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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Ephrata1966 » 03 Jan 2010 20:43

Groceteria wrote:
Ephrata1966 wrote:Randalls (NOT Safeway) acquired some Weingarten's stores in 1984. Perhaps this was one of those stores, remodeled and expanded? I am unclear though on whether the Weingarten's were sold and rebranded or closed.

I have to respectfully question this statement. A quick search reveals numerous references to the fact that Grand Union sold approximately 46 Weingarten stores in Texas and Louisiana to Safeway in 1984. For example, from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/17/business/grand-union-sets-property-auction-elmwood-park-nj-jan-16-ap-grand-union-company.html

The "other buyers" mentioned in that article were apparently Randall's and Gerland's.

There's another thread on this topic here:

http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=883


Sorry, I'm confused. What exactly do you question?

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Groceteria » 04 Jan 2010 21:10

Ephrata1966 wrote:Sorry, I'm confused. What exactly do you question?


The statement that "Randalls (NOT Safeway) acquired some Weingarten's stores in 1984." Per most sources, Safeway actually acquired many (46-ish) Weingarten's stores in 1984, considerably more than Randall's did.

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Ephrata1966 » 04 Jan 2010 21:35

Groceteria wrote:
Ephrata1966 wrote:Sorry, I'm confused. What exactly do you question?


The statement that "Randalls (NOT Safeway) acquired some Weingarten's stores in 1984." Per most sources, Safeway actually acquired many (46-ish) Weingarten's stores in 1984, considerably more than Randall's did.


I still wonder where those stores had to be. Keep in mind Randall's is a very regional chain.

The arch this store has means it could have been a Weingarten's or possibly Marina Safeway. Randall's did buy some Safeway/AppleTree stores. I also have seen pictures of early Randall's with a similar design. Perhaps they incorporated an "arch" as a design element into later stores (not unlike Acme Markets)? The former Randall's in The Woodlands has a similar arch.

Just a theory: The former Woodlands Randall's relocated to a former Albertsons in 2002. The current Randall's in Katy is also a former Albertsons. They might have both relocated to shed these aging, acquired stores. Most Randall's that I know of looked quite different. They were probably built as Randall's during the same period. Some of these stores were not remodeled or closed until later, around 2005. I am thinking Safeway, after they owned Randall's, wanted to eliminate "outdated" stores? Maybe the ones that were previously Safeway? And expanded...

I read an article in Supermarket News once that said something about a "bad taste" left in Houston from Safeway/AppleTree there...

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Re: Possible former Safeway (Katy TX)

Postby Groceteria » 05 Jan 2010 18:16

As to this specific store, I really don't think it's an older, expanded store. The "arch" is not significant, in my view, just because it seems too subtle to have been a visual design element, and even so, it's too far back, which would have made the store about twice the depth and half the width of a Marina Safeway. Expansion would probably be more apparent from an overhead view. I think this building pretty much stands exactly as it was built. But I'm not prepared to make a guess as to who built it, because I'm not all that familiar with the local prototypes.

As to where the rest (Weingarten locations, etc.), a quick check of city directories would clear it up instantly, should anyone happen to be in the area and have access to a library :)


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