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what's the difference between Pavillions and Vons?

Dunno if either of these are national, i know they're both "safeway" but I assumed local in LA...

but what's the diff between Pavillions and Vons? Is Pavillions more high end?

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  1. That's the main difference I've found. Prices seem about the same when the items are identical, and Vons' ads are honored at Pavilions.

    Of course there are fewer Pavilions. And the one in Burbank (across from the auto club) is extry large. They used to sell fresh barbecue (like you find in Ventura County and at How's) out front occasionally during the summer.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Muskrat

      I just used my "Vons card" at Pavillions. I thought I might have to sign up for yet another store "discount" card (to add to my key chain), but apparently, Pavillions takes the Vons card. This is good. What would be even better is if stores eliminated these discount cards and just gave people the discount without the card.

      1. re: katkoupai

        But then they couldn't track your shopping habits... this is worth more than gold to them... everybody's getting into everybody's business... ={

        1. re: katkoupai

          many of the markets now use your phone number, so you don't have to carry your cards. I don't, just punch in my phone number

          1. re: katkoupai

            It'll work at any Safeway in the US or Canada, too, as well as any of the other brands they own (Genuardi's in Philly area, Carrs in Alaska, Dominick's in Chicagoland, Randalls in Houston and Austin, Tom Thumb and Simon David in Dallas).

          1. I used to think that Pavilions was supposed to be the more upscale brand. But in the last few years they've been making over the Vons stores so lately I have a hard time telling the difference either.

            And advertised specials are slightly different between the two.

            2 Replies
            1. re: avivale

              I agree completely -- there are some really nice Vons (Laurel Canyon) and some really ghetto Pavilions (Ventura/Kester). The newer Vons are really nice... the one in SoPas is really nice, but the gold standard for Pavilions is the Burbank Equestrian area one.

              1. re: avivale

                A long long time ago, Pavilions was more upscale, but they haven't been keeping up with all the competition out there, so now there isn't any difference among ralphs, pavilions, vons etc... (I know vons owns pavilions).

              2. It's basically the difference between Ralph's and Fresh Fair.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mc michael

                  When I first went to a Fresh Fair (Wilshire/Bundy), it was vastly different from the humble Ralphs (trivia--no apostrophe) I had grown up with. I think most basic Ralphs and Vons have improved a bit though, and thankfully Pavilions hasn't gotten completely expensive so you can go in and not get hit like going to a Bristol Farms (though BF has better stuff).

                  1. re: Evan G

                    Ralphs has no apostrophe? Does that mean that the name represents multiple Ralphs or is it just a punctuation oversight?

                    1. re: Dyspepsia

                      Per Wikipedia, Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 in downtown Los Angeles by George Albert Ralphs.

                      ...Hence the no apostrophe.

                2. The true test will be the Pavillions that is under construction at the MdR location previously occupied by Von's. This is no rennovation - full gut-&go...This MdR store had been one of their highest grossing stores for decades. For Von's to close this down, gut it, and basically increase the footprint by another third tells me they mean business. I'm sure the push is from having a Gelson's barely a block away, two Ralph's within three blocks, and an Albertson's and Costco another few blocks away. The neighborhood has become alot more upscale over the past 10 years as well... keep an eye for this one to open. I'm betting it will be stellar - at least at first...

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    I hated that Vons, it was so dirty inside. Hopefully its nice (I like the one in Santa Monica on Broadway/Lincoln)...so hopefully its in that upscale mode..

                    I've been to Pavillions on the top of the hill in Palos Verdes....it was really nice....

                    1. re: Xericx

                      There is a Ralphs on Hawthorne Blvd at Crest Rd. at the top of Rancho Palos Verdes that is the flagship for Ralphs -- very special. We go there and have a sandwich made, put together a salad at that great salad bar, get a fresh made dessert and drinks. Then we head down to the cost and make a left turn on Palos Verdes Drive and park at that first turnout just past the lighthouse. We sit, eat and watch for the whales every whale watching season. We do it two or three times a year. A really great day and it begins really nice at that fun Ralphs

                      Ralphs
                      30019 Hawthorne Blvd.
                      Rancho Palos Verdes

                      1. re: JeetJet

                        That was the original upscale fancy store for Hughes. Carpet instead of VCT! - back in the late 60's early 70's. Your sandwich and picnic plan is great. My problem with the store is the lighting. They try to use the natural light via skylites, but are on the foggy side of the hill so it is often oddly gloomy in there.

                        1. re: JeetJet

                          Thanks for the idea, JeetJet! My wife and I copied you today and went to that Ralph's (what a nice store) then had a picnic at the park next to the Lighthouse. I hadn't been out to PV since probably college days (long long time ago) so it turned out very nice. That Ralph's was so clean and spacious, and had a great selection of salads as well as other prepared foods. First you hook me on the chips, salsa and guacamole from Los Toros Meat Market, and now this!

                      2. re: bulavinaka

                        That Ralphs blew me away - wish we had one that nice in OC. Our Pavilions in NB (1 on Bayside & 1 on San Miguel) are both pretty weak. Although their wine specials are often very good :)

                        1. re: torta basilica

                          The Ralphs on Harbor/Brea in Fullerton was recently renovated from ugh to ohh. It's got a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a better wine selection, a nice soup/salad bar, etc.

                        2. re: bulavinaka

                          Intersting... We are SO looking forward to our Quickie Gut & Go job at the Pavillions near us, in Culver City on Jefferson near Slauson. We can walk to it and we get United Miles, so it's our first choice when we need something quick. Plus they carry gulf shrimp at a decent price...

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy

                            When they finished the gut and go at Pavillions in Culver City, Dommy and I were underwhelmed. Our biggest complaint is they added more stuff but not more people. For example, they added a bulk foods section but no one to refill it on a regular basis. [and the bulk brown rice was crap] They added a hot food and salad bar, but it looks like no one tends to it throughout the day.

                            I don't like the Ralphs in the neighborhood but they are starting to win me over, by doing things like recently adding King Arthur Bread Flour to their shelves.

                            Take Care

                            - Patrick

                          2. re: bulavinaka

                            That Vons in MDR was "my" store for around 8 years, and it was a good store. It was so good, it never even occurred to me to go to the Gelsons, right there as well.

                            I've since moved away, and live in Silverlake. In my neighborhood, all the grocery stores suck. I typically shop at Gelsons, because the Vons/Ralphs/Fresh Fair/Pavillions/etc. are so inferior, that I might as stop wasting my time and pay the extra prices and shop at Gelson's. But the Gelson's sucks, too, because it is the shadow of the store it was when Mayfair ran it. I long for a good grocery store.

                            Nothing in my (new -- eight years later!) neck of the woods comes close to that Vons in the Marina. That was a good store. I hope the renovation keeps it true.

                            1. re: DanaB

                              I couldn't agree more about the MdR Von's. I don't know if it's because it was the store that I kinda grew up with, making it so easy to find everything. I always found the layout to make alot of sense as I would progress through the store to shop. And the turnover was extremely high there so it was a rare day when you found something aged. The folks in general were mostly long-timers so you got to know them, and I while I wouldn't call the service there to be stellar, I was always pleased with inventory so customer service issues were very rare. And a growing rarity in LA is the availability of parking. That lot is huge. As busy as this shopping center is, the customer turnover is rapid enough where one could usually find parking without too much of an issue.

                              As I rarely make it over to Silverlake except for an occasional visit to the shops and restaurants, I've never shopped at the markets there. I'm surprised that, given the upscaling of the Silverlake area in general (IMHO Silverlake itself has always been pretty nice for the most part), the markets there don't step up their quality and service. I don't know the general area's demographics well enough, but I'm guessing that there's a fair amount of younger adults, along with a fairly representative community of Latinos, and then the old guard of multi-generational residents who have lived there since time began in that neck of the woods. If these three groups represent the bulk of the surrounding population, then their shopping habits and types and quantities of goods purchased probably aren't as conducive to stores that get alot of attention like the MdR store. What draws attention are customers asking and demanding store managers (Vons mangers are usually very receptive - ask for the store manager, not the manager in charge unless you know them to be very customer-oriented) of better and more selection. "It would be nice if you folks carried a better selection of Paso Robles Pinot Noirs and some artisan cheeses so I wouldn't have to make special trips to your big competitor, Gelsons..." These kinds of inquiries/demands hopefully will bring in more of the types of selections that draws in $$$-types of customers, word gets around that the store is upping their game, more customers come in, and a snowballing effect hopefully occurs with more interesting selections, and so on...

                              Another consideration is the MdR Von's and the (now)CVS stores act like anchor megashops like department stores do in big malls. These two stores draw large numbers of customers which in turn makes it feasible for other shops, eateries, and theatres to open up, making the Villa Marina Shopping Center very convenient for so many people.

                              Work on the store manager at your local market that you feel offers the best hope for being receptive to your requests, and tell other folks to do the same. If you don't, they will get the impression that their current operations and inventory is just fine.

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                Thanks for the tips! I have to admit that service at the Gelson's in Silverlake is not an issue -- service is always good. It's the price/product selection/produce that makes me not fond of the market. It was better when it was still semi-independant as Mayfair -- when they made it over as a Gelson's, they discontinued several products that I liked, they don't store their wine well and they keep ripe avocados refrigerated (an abomination IMHO).

                                The Vons and the Ralphs that are near me are big but selection is not great. Plus, they ALWAYS have long lines at the checkout, which I hate.

                                My guess is that the store manager at the MdR Vons is really good -- Vons stores can vary so much from neighborhood to neighborhood, that is the only thing I can fathom that would make the difference.

                                1. re: DanaB

                                  I had good luck at the Vons in Silverlake. I would go there after 10pm and hit Trader's once or twice a week. I found the service in both to be excellent, and the combination of the two stores gave me a good selection in just about every category. I'd hit the Farmer's Market once a month for unusual produce (couldn't bear to get up early enough every weekend!).

                                    1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                                      It's kind of on the border between Silver Lake/Los Feliz/East Hollywood. It's on Sunset and Virgil (right at the Hollywood/Sunset Blvd. split).

                                      There's also a Vons just outside of Atwater Village in Glendale, on Central just north of San Fernando road.

                          3. The plan is Pavillions is nicer, more space, better presentation of goods, even has better lighting, places to sit, rest, refresh, therefore stay longer and spend more. Anyway, thats what I saw on a Food TV show about it. Bottom line is it works.

                            1. What's always struck me as odd about the Vons vis-a-vis Pavilions relationship are those instances when there is a Vons and a Pavilions side-by-side, literally.

                              Exhibit A? On Fair Oaks / Mission in South Pasadena.

                              What's the marketing blunder, er, I mean, strategy here?

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Believe it or not, there are folks who don't ask the questions being raised in this discussion and think neighboring stores are actually different in price, selection, quality...

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I think they took over some other stores and one of the two was among them. Apparently they can make money at both.

                                  1. re: mc michael

                                    Could the CEO have a plan of, “May the best one win,” or is it just that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    Fair Oaks and Monterey Road

                                    S. Pasadena Vons+S. Pasadena Pavilions= Monopoly (Brilliant)
                                    (wasn't that Pavilions a Ralphs or Safeway at one time?)

                                    1. re: monku

                                      My bad, you're right. It's Monterey Road (not Mission).

                                      I can't remember that far back ... was it really at one time a Ralphs or Safeway? Or maybe it was a Hughes ...

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Maybe you're right Hughes.
                                        I'll go to either one depending which direction I'm coming from.

                                        1. re: monku

                                          It was not a Hughes, that much I remember...the Hughes was located just s/w of the Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks intersection, further south from Vons/Pavillions. I wanna say it was a Ralphs, but can't remember, tho' I lived in that neighborhood 20 yrs. ago, and should.

                                          1. re: Local

                                            OK...lets say Ralphs for now. I'm good with that.

                                            1. re: monku

                                              could it have been an alpha beta?

                                              1. re: justagthing

                                                Thanks....I don't think is was AB...now I'm going to have to go down there and check it out.

                                                or do you want to call? (at this moment I'd feel stupid)

                                                Pavilions
                                                1213 Fair Oaks Ave
                                                South Pasadena, CA 91030
                                                (626) 799-2261

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  Have at it - i'll be happy to accept whatever you find out ;-)

                                      2. re: monku

                                        That So. Pas. Pavillions store located at the S/W corner of Fair Oaks & Monterey Rd. was formerly a Safeway up until 1988 or '89 after Safeway withdrew from the So.CA & NV market and sold its stores to Vons. The Pavillions name was still new at the time and had only begun in 1986. At the time, there was a much greater distinction in both the merchandise and store operations between Vons and its silver spoon offshoot.

                                        As part of the 1988 sale of its stores to Vons, Safeway negotiated an option to later acquire Vons, which it exercised in 1997.

                                        1. re: Sam D.

                                          Aha - thank you Sam D. ! I was a dedicated El Rancho market shopper (eventually bought out by Hughes) so never say the inside of that Safeway.

                                          1. re: Sam D.

                                            ...and if you go by there RIGHT NOW you'll see that the Vons store has been gutted and is looking for a new tenant. And so endeth the conundrum...I went into that Vons just once, and it was painfully obvious they were trying to kill it off; understocked, understaffed, whole sections and categories missing. I think they were just keeping it open for a few old folks who refused to shop anywhere else, or perceived Pavilions as being too fancy/expensive. Wrongly, of course: one of the best bargains I ever got in a California grocery store was a not-yet outdated boneless leg of lamb marked down 50% in the Pavilions across from Huntington Hospital.

                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                              very interesting...and excellent score on the leg o' lamb

                                              and not that it really matters to me, but since this thread is making the distinction and so as not to end the conundrum, isn't the store across from Huntington Hospital a Vons (regular) not a Pavilions? there is a Pavilions on the corner of Lake and California Blvd., (unless the corporate gods have sent a lightning bolt in that direction also). the Vons across from HMH is actually pretty nice- the butcher willingly cut me a 7-bone roast for last weekend's chili cookoff!

                                              your friend-in-shopping-- L.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                          @ ipsedixit, above: What about two Starbucks locations within less than 1/2 a mile from each other? It's all about market (no pun intended) saturation, I guess.

                                          1. re: Evan G

                                            Actually, the two Starbucks at the adjacent corners to each other phenomenon IS marketing genius.

                                            It makes it inevitable that you will have to get a Starbucks if you want a caffeine shot if you are in the vicinity. Convenience being the motivating factor. Who wants to walk an extra block to go to a Coffee Bean or an indie ... at least that's the thinking I suppose.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              I would walk an extra mile to have an coffee other than Starbuck's or Seattle's Best (also owned by SB).

                                        3. The Vons in Silverlake/Los Feliz is pretty basic, but the employees really make it worth visiting. Every single time I've gone, they help me get things off the shelves (I'm short), make decent recommendations according to what I was cooking, and always ask if I needed help to the car - even when I was with my big, strong man. After living on the East Coast for years where all grocery store employees seem unhappy and could care less if you find anything, it is amazingly refreshing. When I commented on this to a long-standing CA native, I was told it was due to the unions and the fact that all grocery store folk get health benefits and feel a sense of ownership. Hurrah for them.

                                          In fact, I'd like to give a nod to the employees in all the grocery stores I have frequented in LA. Vons, Albertson's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods. Thank you for making it a pleasure to shop.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            it was actually because the unions lost really big several years ago and the workers began realizing that attitude was real important when the union is not there. it could mean the difference between a job and no job.

                                            1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                              I don't agree with this assesment of the worker's attitude, at least as far as Vons is concerned. I'd say at least 8 years or so ago, there was clearly a corporate push to have their employees act in a friendly, helpful manner. Occasionally it rises a bit over the top but they mostly seem sincere in their efforts, and however they did it management seems to have been very successful in implementing the program company-wide.

                                              Compare this to Ralphs, were I can almost always expect some employee going on break to rudely jump ahead of a line, to frequently dourly respond to simple questions (and not immediately take wing to find the answer like at Vons) if not blow me off entirely, and numerous other instances of mediocre to poor service. And again this attitude predates the strike of a few years back.

                                              Kudos to Vons, rotten tomatoes to Ralphs.

                                              1. re: broncosaurus

                                                i live near and frequent a ralph's "fresh fare". i have noticed that the attitude of the workers has improved there as well. i have great service at both at this time, as well as at albertsons and several neighborhood places. i think that the strike helped all of us to get better service.

                                                btw: from my travels in the east. the service on the west coast has ALWAYS been friendlier.

                                                1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                  Absolutely! Grocery stores on the East Coast seem to employ mostly part timers when it comes to floor staff and cashiers/baggers. Either it's a kid in high school or an elderly person who just wants to be somewhat active. I have never had an employee ask to help me carry things in DC, MD, NC, or VA. I've also had never had anyone remember my name and greet me with a big smile until I moved to LA. There is, however, one store in VA which I will never enter due to the creepy guy that's been working there for many years who used to follow me to my car if I shopped alone.

                                                2. re: broncosaurus

                                                  One of the first things I noticed when we moved here from Tennessee was how easy it was to tell that Ralphs was the one owned by Kroger: every Kroger store I shopped at in Nashville was - is - staffed by people who considered their conversations amongst themselves to be much more important than paying any attention to us mere customers, and Ralphs is just more of the same. I also remembered that the Safeway clerks up in the Bay Area had been typically courteous, and noted that same difference between Ralphs and Vons here.

                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    "staffed by people who considered their conversations amongst themselves to be much more important than paying any attention to us mere customers"

                                                    Amen -- I couldn't have said it better myself and that goes for almost every Ralph's I've ever been in.

                                                    I'm a Pavillions/Vons guy, too.

                                                    1. re: PaulF

                                                      Yep... service at Ralphs is in the bloody bog. You'll also find the longest lines and the fewest people out on the floor at Ralphs. I absolutely bloody can't stand them. Vons are reinventing themselves as a more service-oriented store to try and lure people away from Gelson's.

                                                      Ralphs are splattered all over the Valley, to the point where there are probably three times as many Ralphs as any other large chain. It was so nice when I moved to Anaheim, where Albertsons are more common, and Stater Bros. not far behind.

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                        Yet that Vons in Studio City that remodeled itself in the past two or so years cannot staff the deli after 6p.m. So, unless you get the stuff already on shelves that has been prepackaged by the deli section earlier in the day, you wait until tomorrow.
                                                        While I detest Ralphs and will only buy something on sale there, I truly find Vons no better. The produce at both is awful, unless the Ralphs is a Fresh Fare version. The closest Pavillions to me is that skanky thing in sherman oaks that they say is going to be rebuilt, yet they have also been saying that for 5 years!
                                                        Neither operation worthy of my dinero!

                                                        1. re: carter

                                                          I always went to Vons as part of my Studio City market Sundays... park on Ventura, then first to the bank, then the farmers' market, then TJ's, then the Artisan Cheese Gallery (after it opened), then Vons for the stuff I couldn't get elsewhere. On Sunday mornings they were very well-staffed.

                                                          That said, none of the large grocery chains wows me. I like Mexican markets better -- the service is better, the produce and meat are cheaper (and often better), and they tend to be either small chains or family-owned, so there's a sense of pride you don't get in whatever-Safeway-is-calling-its-stores-here.

                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                            That's why I liked Stater Bros, it still has that small family local chain feel. Man I miss them now that I'm no longer in OC.

                                                            I loved the regular good deals they had on meat and they had real butchers!

                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                              That was also my feeling toward the old Hughes Markets until RiffRalphs bought it out.
                                                              Now, if that new HOWS market on Lankershim at Weddington in NOHO were a bit closer, it would be store by default. Gorgeous facility, good quality and prices.

                                                      2. re: Will Owen

                                                        That's exactly what I have started shopping at Vons instead of Ralphs. The lines are MUCH shorts and the customer service is 100x better at Vons than Ralphs.

                                                  1. The Pavillions in West Hollywood has more gourmet stuff and organics than any local Vons. The regular stuff is slightly higher priced, but not much.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: ecaitlin

                                                      Could that be location? WeHo ain't cheap.

                                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                                        You're exactly right about the the local marketing concept with both Pavillions and Vons. The corp office is very astute in trying to stay with the local consumer markets and what will sell there. In fact, the WeHo location sells more booze - top end lines - than any other Vons or Pavillions. Their liquor dept takes huge special orders toward the end of the year from corporate customers (mostly studios) for gifts, parties, etc.

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                          I can't wait to see what's happening at the MDR Von's living right across the street.

                                                          Unless in a hurry I pass up Von's and cross Lincoln to the big Ralph's. It's cleaner and doesn't look like it was picked over or going out of business.

                                                          Happened to go in to the Ralph's Fresh Fair (Old Boy's Market) down the street from Ralph's and was at first quite impressed. Then I realized I was walking around in circles trying to find the apple I wanted. Cute displays but annoying.

                                                          I think with Playa Vista and those awful high rise condos with the Ralph's entrance... Von's is trying to lure away their customers by going upscale Pavillions.

                                                          As far as Gelson's I only go there when it's raining. For some reason I get shocked on everything I touch in there. (not by the price)

                                                          1. re: mar52

                                                            I was jazzed when the Ralph's at Lincoln and Marina Pointe opened, but soon found their meat and produce selections to be poor - this was 12-14 years ago so I don't know if they've improved...

                                                            That Ralph's at the old Boy's Market location is nice for all of it's service counters, but you're right - it's just not very practical for the average shopping cart shopper. I think it's more for the folks living in the harbor and all the single folks camping out in the surrounding apt complexes. Plus that parking lot - it leaves alot to be desired about access even after they remodeled everything... the traffic around there is bad enough - getting out of that parking lot and crossing Lincoln can take five to seven minutes alone on a bad day - which has been every day lately... >_<

                                                    2. They are currently remodeling both the Pavilions on the corner of Vine and Melrose in Hollywood and the Vons in Silverlake.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: bookienj

                                                        And are readying to do over the Vons on Santa Monica & Federal in WLA.

                                                        Answering another comment regarding So. Pasadena from way back in may, I believe the other grocery store stradling Monterey Road on Fair Oaks was a Market Basket - you longer-timers remember them, right!

                                                        1. re: carter

                                                          I think the WLA Von's is at Barrington and Santa Monica.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Das Ubergeek -- you hit the proverbial nail on the head regarding the Pavillions at Kester/Ventura. What a dump. Sadly, I've shopped there for over a decade now, only -- ONLY! -- because the parking situation is tolerable, and it's right by my workplace and home. I wish someone would get their act together over there...my gawd, the vegetables are sometimes HORRIBLE. I can't tell you how many "vine" tomatoes I've purchased there that, when cut open, were dark and drier than Hillary Clinton. Hate that place, but the convenience factor keeps me coming back for basics only.

                                                            Edited to add: Watch out for the Kester/Ventura Pavillions melted-and-re-frozen ice cream, too. Been burned -- how ironic -- by their previously-melted-and-re-frozen Ben and Jerry's on more than a few occasions. Now I'll just open 'em up right there in the store and check before I make the purchase. The things we do for convenience!

                                                          2. re: carter

                                                            oh, thank GOODNESS. I live right around the block from the WLA Vons and I always cringe when I walk in there. From the icy cold blast that hits you when you first walk in there, to the bright glaring lights throughout the store to the sometimes dirty and dusty overall environment of the place. I'm really looking forward to this remodeling!

                                                            1. re: carter

                                                              ah-ha not a Safeway per Sam F? - i dunno, at ths point....and the data in that part of my hard drive has definitely been warped and is not retrievable. [ OOPS Posted in wrong location, meant in response to Carter's 7/30 comment above ]

                                                              1. re: Local

                                                                ive noticed that pavilions costs more and the stuff is usually the same. i just wish there was a stater bothers closer to me. high quality low prices.

                                                          3. I believe there used to be a difference. Pavillions was more upscale, at least in Santa Monica. Since they've been redone out here, they look very similar, but far more people use food stamps at Vons.

                                                            1. I can't figure out why Safeway still has both Vons and Pavilions stores. I understand when the original Pavilions stores were created they were more upscale and offered delies and a bakery, etc. But with their remodeled "Lifestyle" concept Vons stores there's absolutely NO difference between Vons and Pavilions. In fact some of the older non-remodeled Pavilions are not upscale in the least. Pavilions store ads are still using that tired old slogan "A World of Difference" (and they don't even use that slogan on their shopping bags anymore) while Vons stores received the "Ingredients for Life" slogan when they rolled out that campaign in 2005. In the Pavilions I go to the Vons name is on all the shopping carts, on the paper bags and the plastic bags in the produce section. Starting a couple years ago all the bakery items with the Pavilions name were rebranded Vons. They even stopped making the Pavilions Value Plus Card and instead new Pavilions shoppers are issued Vons Club Cards. So it seems like the Pavilions name has been reduced rather than expanded. I think in 2008 Safeway should combine the stores under one name or at least add Vons to the Pavilions banners.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: jdla

                                                                I believe their ultimate intention is to name all the stores in middle and above demographic areas the same, meaning Vons Pavilions, while the stores not in those demographic areas will eventually be closed.
                                                                Just think of having fewer flyers in your mailbox if you only print one version, rather than both of them - and they save on postage and print costs, and the environment is parenthetically a winner!

                                                              2. You could be right - maybe they someday are going to just rename all the remodeled lifestyle stores "Vons Pavilions". Seems like it would be easier for them to just have all the same names and less confusing to customers. Even the Pavilions website is silly. It has all the info that the Vons website has and if you go to the Pavilions website to order groceries online is just redirects you to the Vons site.

                                                                Safeway is starting close many of the older small stores. I went on vacation last year to Morro Bay CA and there was a Vons there that was quite small and obviously hadn't been remodeled in ages. They closed it this year saying the location was too small and wouldn't fit into their new lifestyles remodels. When I lived in the bay area I used to go to a Safeway that was small and the old style of supermarkets - no pharmacy, no bakery, no deli, etc. It's still open but I expect one of these days they'll be closing that store.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: jdla

                                                                  I noticed something interesting in relation to this topic. Over the last two days, on "The KTLA Morning Show," when going to commercial, the voice-over on the bumper before the commercials began stated "This portion of the broadcast is brought to you by Safeway."

                                                                  Keep in mind this is a local Los Angeles show only, not a network broadcast, so the fact that an L.A. show "...is being brought to you by Safeway," might mean something regarding their future plans in L.A. I've never heard the Vons/Pavilions chain being called "Safeway" in Los Angeles. I've shopped Safeway in Northern California and Hawaii before, but "Safeway" in Los Angeles seems to be a new development.

                                                                  1. re: rockhead

                                                                    Interesting. I grew up with Safeway (Oregon) so I would welcome it here!

                                                                    BTW, the Marina Pavillions seems like its almost done...pretty excited actually I hate going to Ralphs (both of them in the Marina..and they're fresh faire's too) and the Bristol Farms is overpriced for basic ingredients...hopefully Pavillions will be the happy mediume.

                                                                    BTW x 2...I see the CVS Drug Store on Lincoln Blvd near the SM/Venice Border has cleared out and moved into the former footlocker that's next to the La Playaita aka Mariscos Guillen......I heard here that they're putting a Whole Foods there....weird having a Whole Foods right next to the 99cent store!!! hah.

                                                                    Hopefully they won't gentrify the intersection too much and kill La Playaita

                                                                    1. re: Xericx

                                                                      They were Safeway for a very short time in LA back in the... hm... 80's? Before Alpha Beta was swallowed up. I think Vons has the name recognition down here.

                                                                      I just go to Stater Brothers.

                                                                2. It is unusual that they would say the KTLA show is being brought to you by Safeway instead of Vons. I wonder why they've decided to do that.
                                                                  I was really surprised to read that they're building new Pavilions grocery stores. I just don't get it. I walk into my Pavilions store and the carts and grocery bags say Vons, store brands items are Safeway and Vons and bakery items are Vons. So what's the point of having the store named Pavilions when it's filled with Vons and Safeway items?
                                                                  Albertsons owns Bristol Farms but those are two stores totally different types of stores so it makes sense to have two names. Vons and Pavilions are just the same store with two different names.

                                                                  1. Safeway was in southern CA but then sold their stores to Vons in 1988 and kept a 30% interest in the Vons company. In late 1996 they decided to buy out Vons and in April 1997 Vons and Pavilions became part of Safeway.
                                                                    I think the fact that they left southern CA in 1988 may be one of the reasons they kept the names Vons and Pavilions. The Vons stores were already successful and they probably didn't want to take a chance on renaming them all Safeway and losing customers. Although at this point a name change to Safeway wouldn't really matter. The Safeway name is ALL OVER the Vons and Pavilions stores and they're simply just a Safeway store with a different name.

                                                                    1. It used to seem to me that Pavillions were giant, and Vons were normal sized. That was back in the early 90s, though, when that red-headed Stephanie and her Pavillions ads were all over the place. All grocery stores seem to be gigantic these days.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: willownt

                                                                        I think Pavilions were giant and Vons normal sized when Pavilions were first introduced. Now basically the new and remodeled stores are the same size. In fact they're closing down the old smaller Vons because it doesn't fit into their lifestyle store types.
                                                                        I thought Stephanie Edwards did commercials for Lucky grocery store.

                                                                        1. re: jdla

                                                                          idla - you are correct on both your history of Safeway as well as La Edwards!!!

                                                                      2. I just want to rant here for a second to say the Pavilions on Melrose and Vine is THE WORST! They are constantly out of things, just basics like Italian Parsley, Basil, Broccoli, Arugala, I have been there when they are out of Ice(!!!) if you can believe that, sometimes they are out of these things for days! Anchovies? Forget about it they don't even carry them. They have one aisle for pasta, then 4 aisles over "gourmet pasta". Hey geniuses, why not put them on the same aisle? I hate this place and can't wait till Whole Foods opens.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: rezpeni

                                                                          I saw they just put up a billboard very close to the Pavilions on Melrose/Vine. Guess what - it's advertising VONS. It was the same thing in West Hollywood when I used to shop at the Pavilions there - they'd have billboards nearby advertising Vons. It's like they figure Pavilions shoppers know the stores are just actually Vons with another name so they don't even bother advertising Pavilions. So I have to ask once again - why have stores with the Pavilions name when you're basically just going to advertise it as a Vons?