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May 19, 2007 02:43 PM

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) hopefully its in that upscale mode..

                    I've been to Pavillions on the top of the hill in Palos 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

                      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...


                          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.