To market, to market |

To market, to market

The parking lot of the new Safeway on Brunswick Road was packed beyond capacity Friday morning – and the inside was just as crowded with shoppers.

It seemed people couldn’t get enough of the introductory special offers as they made their way slowly through the crowded aisles and kiosks. Some of the floor space was dimly lit for special effect, and many things looked slick and upscale.

“I came here today because I wanted to win a new iPod, but I didn’t,” said Grass Valley resident Rebecca Neilson with a smile, referring to the special offer that said 200 iPods would be given away to shoppers.

“The store layout, I’d have to get used to it,” Neilson said. “The layout was a bit chopped up. It was like things didn’t correlate with each other. It’s too spread out.”

Neilson, like most people, nevertheless bought a shopping cart full of things, which quickly filled up the trunk of her car.

“Albertson’s has better prices,” she said.

Friday was opening day for Safeway, which renovated the former Ralphs grocery store location to make it a high-end Safeway “Lifestyles” store. The other Safeway near downtown Grass Valley will remain open.

Micki Kennedy of Grass Valley, who shopped with her husband, said “the store was beautiful.”

“They had lots of samplings and the produces looked good and fresh, and there was quite a variety,” she said.

Tom Ecker of Nevada City liked the lighting in the store.

“It’s really good, really subdued,” he said. “It’s going to be a real upscale store for the town.”

But not everyone was shopping at Safeway on Friday.

In Albertsons on Nevada City Highway, there was a steady flow of shoppers.

“I didn’t go to Safeway because the parking is horrible today,” said Grass Valley resident Mellis See. “But I will check it out. I work close by. I want to check out the prices and see if they are as good with the other Safeway.

“I can’t wait to see it, but I’m not going to go in with all those people in there.”

At SPD Market on McKnight Way had few shoppers in the early afternoon.

“You couldn’t pay me to go to Safeway,” said Lorraine, who refused to divulge her last name. “I didn’t like them in Southern California, and I don’t like them here. I can do without them.”

To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@ or call 477-4229.

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