OMG, Lucky is coming back!!!

Jul 20, 2003
ing at midnight Sunday with a San Francisco supermarket, Save Mart will systematically shut down about eight Albertsons stores a week and conduct 48-hour makeovers - something like "Trading Spaces," only on a 50,000-square-foot magnitude.

Cosmetic changes will give stores a retro-Lucky decor. The chain will cut the majority of prices for its 45,000 to 50,000 items to reflect Lucky's boast of "everyday low prices." Workers will stock new prod uct lines on the shelves and don Lucky uniforms. The chain will revive its "Three's a crowd" promise to open up checkout counters if lines back up.

And, most obvious of all, the famous red script Lucky logo will be hoisted over the front doors to welcome shoppers back.

"In this area, Lucky has been a legend," said Bob Spengler, president of Modesto-based Save Mart Supermarkets. After it bought 130 Albertsons stores in Northern California and Nevada in February, he said the company anonymously surveyed consumers to identify their favorite places to shop for groceries.

"Lucky kept coming up - and there hasn't been one in seven years. That's the power of a brand. That Lucky name is so powerful."

Fond memories aside, there's a risk the name change might not be enough to make Lucky stand out in today's fragmented market, where supermarkets must compete with upscale grocers like Whole Foods, warehouse stores like Costco and ethnic chains like Mi Pueblo?

The new owners think it can - and that Lucky stands a better chance of success than Albertsons, a chain they feel made many mistakes and alienated customers.

The privately held chain also is passing up its own Save Mart brand, a name that dates to 1952 and is well known in the Central Valley. But Save Mart is relatively unknown in the Bay Area; all nine of its markets are located in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties. (The company, which declined to disclose any financial details about the makeover, will leave the Save Mart names on those stores.)

Once thought lost to history after Albertsons acquired the chain and killed the name in 1999, the Lucky name evokes memories of an innovative Bay Area grocery chain that started in the Depression and grew into a national retailing powerhouse. Save Mart boasts that Lucky was the first to use shopping carts, introduce the "discount store" and experiment with a rewards card.

Locally, many consumers associate the Lucky name with fondness to a not-so-distant time when the two biggest names were Safeway and Lucky.

Save Mart is hardly the first to resurrect what some call "zombie brands." Marketers are renown for trying to tap into Americans' subconscious, giving a second life to brands as varied as Life magazine, Tab soda, Commodore computer games - even AT&T phone service.

In the apparel industry, companies frequently buy brand names with the hope of introducing new styles that will find a receptive audience, said Dale Achabal, director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University. The trick, he noted, is to revive brands that customers remember warmly, and not with "baggage" that might have prompted the product's demise in the first place.

Indeed, talking about the weekly chore of heading to the market to restock the cupboard and fridge can trigger animated stories for consumers. For example, Emily Cervino has never forgotten Lucky's pledge to open checkout counters if three customers back up in lines.

"When I'm in Albertsons, I'm thinking, `Hey, three's a crowd, man - open another line up!' "

On the other hand, Michael Bendorf jokingly recalls a time he nearly "got into a fistfight" with an elderly woman over who was next when two long lines of Lucky shoppers converged into one. "I have not gone back since," he said. "I hold a grudge."

Recognizing the risks, Save Mart's Spengler said his chain is determined to address many practices that executives think Albertsons botched. They will start by trying to restore Lucky's identity as the "low-price leader." The chain pledges to cut prices for everyone, not just those carrying a rewards card, which it is scrapping.

"I don't believe in the card," said Spengler. "I believe every customer is a valued customer. Why single out somebody and give them a reward? Give everyone the same value."

Save Mart also says it will be much more willing than Albertsons to stock foods and goods to suit the local customers. As a result, one-third of a store in Los Altos is tailored to a Jewish audience, stores in San Francisco will emphasize more Asian foods, and Watsonville stores will sell more foods for a Latino palate.

"We're going to get the food they need," Spengler said. "We're not going to have cookie-cutter stores."
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Too Busy At Work To Shop
Lucky? There's no S? It wasn't Lucky's?
- Get in where you fit in...and thats real....
Thats what I thought too
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Lame. You can bank on all the names you want, but it won't fix the problems of your store.
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hope they bring back that chocolate milk
It's not what you say it's how you say it
All the Savemarts I've shopped in are pretty old and need a cosmetic lift themselves. I honestly don't see how bringing back an old grocery store name is going to attract those 'old' customers. I like shopping for my groceries in a store that's clean with a modern look and has the commodities I need.
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it brings back memories of my childhood
i don't know how, but it does that same thing to me too...i get struck with a feeling of nostalgia after hearing the name Lucky's..
I swear, i've never ever stopped calling it Luckys...

Who the hell wants Albertsons anyway...? BRING BACK LUCKY!

And yeah, i might start shopping there again lol...
The Sybian​
For President in 2008​
Because it'll definitely swing the womens vote​
that brings back so many memories.
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Lucky's & GET = :pimp:

SF OG's know what's up. :wink:
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It was NEVER called Lucky's. Get the name straight.
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Lucky? There's no S? It wasn't Lucky's?
Man now I have to get used to calling the store by its old name. Way back in the day didn't they used to be called Alpha Beta?

Still a fan of Foodmaxx though... and Food 4 Less... and then they turned into a Foodmaxx. Whatever, I'm in the mood to go to Costco.
Cool, that Albertsons on Hickey sucked! I remember Luckys had some good donuts LOL. Do you think they'll bring back that funny red headed lady?
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i went to the one in DC. my grandma actually still calls every grocery she sees!
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