Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Whole Foods bites the dust

Coast News:
The Pacific Station Whole Foods, which debuted five-and-a-half years ago to large crowds and a downtown eager for a standalone market, will shut down, the Texas-based chain announced Wednesday.

The 23,000-square-foot market, which was the centerpiece of the mixed-used development, will close its doors for good Feb. 22.
Guess it never made much sense for people to drive to the bar district to buy groceries.

119 comments:

  1. How much value will the condos lose after the closing of Whole Foods?

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    Replies
    1. not enough to make low income housing that Prop T thought could be put in similar ways like that above Whole Foods!

      As if low income people could shop at Whole Foods anyways.

      Delete
  2. Did the city have a hint of the closing before the Nov. election?

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  3. Another mixed use failure

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  4. The article points out this could be seen as a prime example of why mixed use doesn't work here.

    Blakespear, however, is not going down without a fight. "When asked whether she believed the loss of Whole Foods would fuel the argument, said no."

    “I feel that businesses turn over, and if you look around town, there are a lot of businesses that are interested in Encinitas,” Blakespear said.

    She also said that she doesn’t believe the closure in any way speaks to the viability of downtown’s commercial core.

    She ignores the fact that this closure will be a red flag to any other business and ignores the many articles written lately that prove the point that mixed use simply doesn't work here.

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  5. Is this the undoing of mix use? Will it just be bars all along 101? Our family shopped there in the evening until the crowded bars showed up, not a fun experience and I'm sure patronage was affected. Sorry we are losing them.

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    Replies
    1. Its like....My neighbor moved out of a 5,000 square foot home. Doom coming to the SFR industry!

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    2. Patronage was impacted because of poor parking, and the opening of stores like Lazy Acres and the expansion of Seaside market which provide a better shopping experience, a brighter appearence and ready to eat food that actually looks appitizing. The Whole foods in Del Mar was much better, brighter and offered better options. Don't blame the bar blame the store for not responding to the needs of the people

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    3. There have been issues with mixed-use projects in other cities, too. Pacific Station wasn't doing too well, had a high vacancy rate, until Whole Foods committed to moving in, becoming a magnet for other businesses.

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  6. Good luck on getting another market to come in there with a bar 10' from the front doors.

    This is a shame for our downtown, but with the unending proliferation of approved bars, it is little wonder.

    Lets all hope another grocery chain will take a chance with Encinitas.

    No more bars!

    No Union expansion! If they really wanted to be known as the restaurant that they claim to be, then give them their patio permit with a 10pm closing time for the whole operation.

    That same idea brought forth an eruption of approval from the residents at a council meeting last month.

    It is another sad day for our downtown and the sense of real vibrancy that will be lost without Whole Foods. It will be a hard sell to get another grocer to want to join the bar town that it has become. I would love to be wrong and will praise the day when there is an announcement of the next grocery business willing to locate in our bar town.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, bars are the only kind of "vibrancy" our council supports.

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  7. they also might have failed because it is expensive, and Seaside market is similar but has roots in our town, more parking, and Jimmy Bear in the produce section!

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    Replies
    1. Jimmy bear for mayor.

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    2. Yes! Let Jimmy run our town!

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    3. Seaside also succeeds because the residents of Cardiff keep it alive in the winter. They are not a chain and the 2 brothers that own it are very involved in helping the community. And, lastly their employees are long term, such as Jimmy Bear, and they are awesome and helpful. It's not inexpensive, but the food is awesome, fresh and worth it. For the big stuff we go to Costco or Vons.

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  8. Make it into dorms for CS San Marcos. We can be more like PB.

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  9. Two words:

    Mega-juana cannabis superstore!

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  10. After Lazy Acres opened a few blocks away, would you prefer shopping at the overpriced market with ample surface parking or without? I'd be interested to see if a more budget-conscious grocer like Trader Joe's would have performed better (I certainly would have shopped there more). Probably too big a space for TJ's though so we'll never know.

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    1. The lazy acre parking lot sucks!

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    2. As does Lazy Acre. Rude employees and terrible parking.

      Back to Trader Joe/Sprouts/Seaside it is.

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    3. I like Crazy Acres..... I'm glad it opened. Cool Store and folks are nice. Great products. Sea Side is great too. Trader Joes- same old boring.

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    4. If you think the parking is bad there try getting intoand out of the garage unde whole foods. I have not met one rude employee at lazy acres they are all very helpful and want to help the patrons. If you ran into a rude employee maybe you need to go to a bar in downtown Encinitas before you go to Lazy Acrea - lower your hate quotient

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    5. Parking has been challenging at TJ's, too.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Joes location is ideal to serve the whole of Encinitas and they serve us well where they are.

    Lazy Acres definitely helped put Whole foods out of business, BUT, it is the proliferation of bars and the behavior of their patrons that has changed any welcoming grocer to deal with a district that has become bar central.

    This is so hurtful to any longtime residents what has been allowed to fester. Our Planning Commission has been a tool. There is not a bar permit that has not been wholeheartedly approved.

    For a complete change of pace, the Unions outdoor permit got a temporary delay. It is to be determined whether that was just a nod to the residents or not. Lets hope they break tradition and tell the Union, not a chance.

    Or else give them their outdoor permit with the mandated 10pm closing of the whole operation.

    Now there would be some justice well earned and an example that council could be proud of. Bending over for a relocated PB bar owner should not take precedence.

    10pm is the answer the city should stand b behind.



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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, 8:13 goes from trying to sound reasonable to "the answer the city should stand behind" is to reward the Union with an outdoor permit.

      Very subtle, 8:13 - very subtle.

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  13. As a resident of the downtown area I'm sad to see them leave, I didn't do the majority of shopping there but did walk over for odds and ends when needed.

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    Replies
    1. That's why their leaving 8:41. People like you want what your not willing to pay for.

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    2. I shop at Jimbos because it is locally owned, if Jimbos was there I would do all my shopping there. I used it only out of convenience.

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  14. Does anyone know when the clearance sale will start?

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  15. Whole Foods did not have any stand-out products...
    Seaside has wonderful produce,meats,seafood and breads
    Lazy Acres has superb soups
    Gelsons has a terrific bakery and the best ribs and sausages in North County..their bangers are awesome...buttery smooth.
    Shopped Ralph's, Vons, and even Slater Bros. before Whole Foods.

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  16. Interesting neighboring city site on CCA or community choice aggregation. Encinitas is looking at joining Solana Beach and imposing higher rates and more risk on its citizens.

    http://www.cca-factsandmyths.com/

    View for yourself the rates that are higher from Marin County Clean energy that proponents often claim as an example.

    https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/rates/

    Just wait till your city makes you pay more for energy.
    One anti site, one pro site, you decide if you can have your cake and eat it too. Help us in Solana Beach!


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  17. 9:56 PM
    Encinitas holding a meeting on CCA next week. Attend and give comments.

    CITY OF ENCINITAS
    COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION
    SUBCOMMITTEE
    MEETING NOTICE/AGENDA
    Poinsettia Room, Civic Center
    505 South Vulcan Ave.
    Wednesday, February 15, 2017 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

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    1. This is a CRAZY idea! The city needs to focus on it's basic services. They can't even approve a Housing Element. The majority of citizens will kick them out of office if they follow through with this ridiculous idea.

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    2. Looks like a smart way to go.

      Sempra and SDGE have prove their goal is to screw the public, destroy the environment, and maximize profits. They are evil.

      SDGE needs to go down. Anyone working for them is supporting the enemy.

      Delete
  18. City council will welcome the Syrian and Iraqi refugees to free beachside living at Pacific View- open Mosque for no rent at Community Center and will provide a free soup kitchen for all refugees and homeless at the Whole Paycheck site. I called it first.

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  19. Nobody could ever go to Whole Foods because of the lack of parking in the area...

    Something that Prop T only made worse!

    Bottom line is retail is changing to online. Many stores will be closing in the next 50 years in Encinitas during this change. Especially along El Camino Real... another change Prop T does not take into account!

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  20. 6:09,

    Because our council is so much smarter on buying energy and complex decision making right ?? Not that I trust or like sdge but i'll take that system with regulators and legislation way before I'd trust our local clown government. The energy debacle of the Grey Davis years that we all paid for for two decades was a government decision that create mass corruption a HUGE mess. Risky!

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  21. To help out with low cost housing, we should use the space as a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen. Each bed could count towards a low cost housing unit. It would be convenient for the residents to get liquor with a bar outside the front door. Of course we need to make a rule that all the bars accept EBT cards.

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  22. Whole Foods was good for people who could walk there. That is a very small number of people. Parking and getting in and out on 101 is a lot harder than at Sprouts or Seaside or Vons. Mixed use Whole Foods do well in urban areas where people walk or are willing to deal with parking and congestion. Measure T might have helped Whole Foods by having more affluent people in walking distance. It likely would not have been enough.

    For me it came down to parking and getting in and out quickly.

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    1. There was always tons of parking underground and who didn't park in the unconstitutional USPS-only and envirnmental fascist-only parking spots?! You guys were just too cheap.

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    2. There is tons of parking because he parking spots are unusable. They are short and too narrow. The concrete pillars should have been spaced farther apart or there should only be two spots between pillars.

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    3. Not to mention flooding during moderate rains. Many spots are unusable unless you want to step out of your car into a pond.

      DeWald construction at its finest. "Staff" signing off on one of the most shoddily-built examples of crap this town has yet produced.

      Delete
  23. I think Whole Food's failure here has very little to do with the location, the bars, or being in a mixed use project, and more to do with increased competition and a failure to distinguish themselves from that competition. Lazy Acres has siphoned way customers as it is a direct competitor. The re-vamped Seaside Market as well. And really, what does Whole Foods have that sets it apart? Seaside has its crack and a very local vibe. Trade Joe's has inexpensive products you can't get anywhere else. Whole Foods is really just expensive and dull. It was one of the first and lived off that reputation for a while, but that can only last so long.

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  24. Agree with the parking at Lazy Acres... Parking is HORRIBLE there. Do love the store itself though. My preference is still Trader Joe's. I work in the building with the Whole Foods. I am going to miss it for convenience at lunchtime. I didn't shop there otherwise. I do think it is part of the draw of owning in the building.

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  25. Good luck on re-renting the space where Whole Foods will vacate. Not a chance that another grocer would touch it - it has the stink of business failure imprinted upon it now. As many have stated, the lack of parking is a death noll for the location. Maybe a super-sized bar would work, with live bands and entertainment! Watch for a massive rent reduction in the subsequent offering too.
    A Mexican food place just a block or so south caved in too - again, patrons could not easily access it. Parking in Encinitas is a nightmare.

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    Replies
    1. Spoken like a true real estate expert (lol)........

      It's a large ground floor space on a major road - and there's not too many of those around so I expect that there will be a lot of interest in it. The leasing agent is one lucky dude (or lady)..

      - The Sculpin

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    2. Sculpin chimes in with his usual uninformed horse manure. The space is difficult to access and parking is limited. Being on a major road is irrelevant depending on precise locational dynamics. I suspect the unit will be broken down into smaller suites - then they might have a better chance of renting the space.

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    3. Vallarta Mexican was killed off by The Taco Stand. Better, fresher food.

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    4. Sculpin: With all due respect, do you ever leave Olivenhain? Anyone who goes to Old Encinitas on 101 knows that the parking is ridiculous. And, the underground parking is not accessible unless you know it's there. If one travels north on 101 and sees Pacific Station, if you don't know there is an underground parking structure, you wouldn't see it. The signage is just not there.Epic failure. Maybe you might want to ride your horse downtown some evening around 1AM and see for yourself what others are saying. It's always easy to talk in the safety of a nice rural home where you can ride your horses. Maybe the City will stick the housing development out in your neck of the woods and see how you feel?

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    5. Sculpin should be on the city council - he could pollute the atmosphere with his off base speculations and pontificate on matters beyond his ability to comprehend.

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    6. Sculpin, please get a job!

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    7. 9:23 - What is it with you and parking? The lack of parking doesn't seem to get too much in the way of other establishments along 101. It's very clear to me that the downtown area is a walking area - which is why I would never have put a grocery store there. Sure, it looked good on paper, but in reality there are not enough residents withing walking distance to support that store. What it's perfect for is ground floor retail. Blow the whole shopfront out and create a retail center similar to Cedros (oh wait, you can't park there either, so how can it be successful?). People are already coming to Downtown to walk the shops and have a meal. The are has the meal part down, now it's time to beef up the shop part.

      And with all due respect, how do you think I was able to live in Olivenhain? And as for development, clearly you haven't been out here lately, have you?

      - The Sculpin

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    8. Cedros is changing too, and not for the better. The Antique Warehouse is closing March 5th. The building was sold, and vendors weren't given much time to vacate. Yes, the prices of stuff there were high, but it was a great place to stroll around in. The Lotus place is nothing but Made in China crap.

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    9. Cedros needs more eating establishments to support the retail foot traffic. That's what's happening to the AW.
      You could find some pretty cool stuff at AW, but it was too few too far in between.

      - The Sculpin

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    10. Look for something like Restoration Hardware to come in where AW is. A big reit owns the building, so you know they will want to get a big chain in there to roll over the big bank. It's amazing AW lasted this long, given the gentrification in that area the last 25 years...

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    11. The business genius Sculpin(head) suggests that a typewriter repair shop and Ivanka Trump boutique take over the space where Whole Foods is vacating. It's on the main street - remember!

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  26. What is the story with this property, anyway? Wasn't someone named John DeWald the deal maker originally? And didn't Gary Tucker (hubby to Dodie, ex-DEMA head) have a finger or two in the pie?

    Who else was involved?

    Agree downtown parking combined with a too-tight underground lot combined to keep folks away.

    Watch for Blakespear to resurrect her hero Shaffer's scheme to charge for parking as a way to raise the turnover.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, John DeWald was the original developer. There were rumors that there were 30 investors, which included Gary Tucker. It was very murky. The construction was stalled for many months after the 2008 financial bust. It needed additional financing for be completed.

      The upper residential units were sold to a feminist investment group in San Francisco. The ground floor was kept by the original investors. Was there a 10-lease by Whole Foods? Not sure.

      Whole Foods bailed out. They kept the store in Flower Hill Del Mar. Guess which store was making less money.

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  27. Enter El Callejon 2.0 POR FAVOR!!!

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    1. Any business that relies on a large patronage would need parking - it's just not there. I doubt a restaurant would take the chance on it; certainly not another grocery store. A rousing booze and dance place - that might fly, as the party destination busses would bring them in. Otherwise, this large space is destined to be subdivided into smaller units, which might be able to survive the inherent detriments.

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    2. 8:35 Knows something about retail marketing and merchandising.

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    3. Maybe he or she knows something and maybe not. D Street, Union, and Beachbreak all have similar parking related issues, yet they have succeeded.

      A tremendous amount of diligence is done to determine viability. It is based on demand factors. The fact that Lazy Acres opened in late 2016 and Whole Foods announces their closure in February 2017 tells me the market demand is shifting and the viability factor changed for Whole Foods. Other factors might influence this, of course, but cause and effect is clearly at play.

      I tend to also agree that this tenant space will be split. There is not enough storefront space to the courtyard to support large retail uses. The space is too big for one restaurant.

      For the sake of the small retailers in this shared space, I hope it happens soon. Whole Foods brought a lot of life and foot traffic to the courtyard space - and will be void without it.

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    4. Lazy Acres certainly siphoned off the type of customer that might frequent Whole Foods. Whole Foods demise was a combinatorial accumulation of all the aforementioned issues (parking, location, competition, price, etc). Lazy Acres might have been the "straw that broke the camel's back". The viability of this location will readily be determined by how fast it is re-rented and what has to be done to the site - and that may have to be further induced by rent concessions.

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    5. 1:27 reveals he/she doesn't know much about grocery retailing. The examples cited are not grocery stores.

      Every grocery store in Encinitas has a big, open parking lot out front. Customers come out of grocery stores carrying big, heavy bags or with same in carts. That's why the stores need parking lots out front.

      Without big, easy parking, Whole Foods was inconvenient for anybody but the few who could walk there and back hauling whatever they bought.

      Retailing from brick and mortar grocery stores is about demand and convenience.

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    6. The problem with parking must have been that people just did not realize there was free parking in the underground garage. I've never had a problem finding a spot in the garage, and I go there quite often.

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    7. Or maybe they didn't want to drive up an alley into a dark, cramped underground garage then go up and down an elevator or stairs to get and haul groceries. All that's too inconvenient.

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  28. For folks who aren't on Facebook, this is from Encinitas Votes, adjusted to fix errors:

    http://www.encinitasca.gov/
    I am posting this, as there is a lot of good information on the City's site about what is going on in Encinitas. It also includes the agendas for all Commissions and City Council meetings.

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  29. Now that everyone has said their bit, I'll let you in on what happened. People parked for Biergarden and messed up WF. Not going to change for next tenant.

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  30. Here's what happened to Whole Foods as reported by the Washington Post:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/09/why-whole-foods-is-now-struggling/?utm_term=.b75e4035d3b9

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    Replies
    1. Right, if the stores they're closing were profitable, they weren't profitable enough.

      For the Encinitas store, competition and inconvenience contributed to underperformance.

      Delete
  31. Start worrying about Lazy Acres.

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    Replies
    1. Seaside, Vons and Lazy Acres are the only big grocery stores west of the freeway. Seems all three will do fine.

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  32. Whoever in the engineering dept. approved the layout of the parking lot at Lazy Acres should be sent packing. It is barely navigable getting in and out of the parking spots, and this is cars. Good luck for those with trucks and vans.

    There has to be a formula for parking lots to layout the lines and no way is that standard spacing. Somebody needs to be sent packing.

    I wonder if Masih has been operating again at his usual level of incompetence. How he keeps his job after all the unneeded stress he has put on residents all over the city, should demand that he be fired.

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  33. Does the city have jurisdiction over parking lot designs?

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    1. There is a square footage ratio that is required - so many parking spaces for the business site's square footage.

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    2. The parking at Staples and adjacent stores is really cramped. Is Lazy Acres' parking like that?

      I haven't been in that center since it was Big Bear.

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    3. The city is allowing narrower and shorter parking slots. This creates more spaces in a given area. The result is more congestion and more difficulty getting in and out.

      The city encourages residents to walk or ride bicycles. It ain't happenin'!

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    4. Some of these narrow parking spaces make it near impossible to get out of the car without banging the adjacent vehicle. Anyone with a pristine paint on a car is in jeopardy of seeing that ugly ding on the finish when parking in these cramped lots.

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  34. Geez, I read all these comments, WF this, parking that. The reason WF is gone is that DAMN RENT IS TOO HIGH!! A good landlord adjusts the rent to keep a tenant. If it sits empty for 6 months or more then the damn rent is too high!!!

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    Replies
    1. How much is the monthly rent?

      How much has it gone up since Whole Foods has been the tenant?

      If high rent is the only reason for the store closing, we'll know in six months, according to 7:37.

      Delete
  35. Why have the volunteer patrols blocked off city hall parking lot this morning??

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    1. Abortion protest.

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    2. Did Sabine get aborted?

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  36. 10:30AM It's a march for Planned Parenthood. Yes, the city hall parking lot was blocked by volunteer patrol and a black 'n' white. Pathetic.

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  37. According to a news article the march was put together by a high school student who arranged the march with the Encinitas Parks and Rec department.

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    1. So this high school student wants to see babies die??

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    2. 3:00 is Kellyanne Conway providing alternative facts.

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  38. @3:00 pm - Planned Parenthood provides a wide array of health care services to women. The view that Planned Parenthood = abortion is inaccurate and ignorant.

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    1. Does PP provide abortions?? If so my comment is neither inaccurate nor ignorant.

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    2. 4:09, you hit a triple: inaccurate, ignorant and stupid.

      With millions of orphans and unwanted kids in the world at a time when overpopulation is killing the planet, why bring more unwanted kids into the world? That makes huge existing problems exponentially worse.

      Planned Parenthood is a good name for an organization that provides many valuable services.

      Delete
  39. Whole Foods is struggling in general, not isolated to specific situation on the 101 in Encinitas https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/09/why-whole-foods-is-now-struggling/?utm_term=.26909fb75fb9

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    1. They've got hundreds of stores. They're closing 9.

      It's the location.

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    2. When retail chains' overall profit picture flattens or dips for a year or two, they close underperforming stores. They're taking out the weak links.

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    3. "On Wednesday, Whole Foods reported what is arguably its worst performance in a decade, announcing its sixth consecutive quarter of falling same-store sales and cutting its outlook for the year. The company is closing nine stores, the most it has ever closed at one time. A mere 16 months ago, Whole Foods predicted it would grow its 470 U.S. locations to more than 1,200."

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    4. It isn't just the location on the 101. If you read the article, you'll see they have six straight quarters of declining sales, a hugely concerning trend. They have abandoned their growth strategy. 9 stores is 5% of their total stores, which is a lot. Yes, they close weakest links first, which the Encinitas store might have been. But their business model is in bigger trouble than the location on the 101, which is the point of the article.

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    5. The company is profitable even if sales are down. The reason to close a few specific stores is because those locations aren't profitable.

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    6. 9/470 = 1.9%

      ". . . its sixth consecutive quarter of falling same-store sales and cutting its outlook for the year."

      That's not the same thing as "six straight quarters of declining sales."

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    7. Yes it is.
      Falling sales = declining sales
      Are you saying falling sales means sales are increasing?
      The Encinitas store probably needed to close. The location could have been part of it.
      But Whole Foods has a bigger problem than it's one store on the 101.

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    8. No, the two are not equivalent. Some same-store sales are falling. It's impossible for all same-store sales to be falling. By dropping the nine stores, they're trimming the dead wood and improving the overall profit picture.

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    9. Unlikely, but not impossible.

      Same store sales are sales in stores open at least a year. It excludes new stores. Buy-side analysts use same store sales to understand the degree to which new store openings are canibalizing sales from existing stores. Total sales could be growing as a result of new store growth, but if same store sales (a subset of the total) is declining, then the operating margin of the business will shrink over time (not good).

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    10. 9:38 Whole Foods has 462 stores. It's impossible for same-store sales to be declining in all of them.

      Delete
    11. Woolworth had over 800.

      Now they have zero.

      It can happen.

      Delete
  40. Being profitable is not enough.
    Companies strive to grow.
    Whole Foods is not growing.
    Closing weakest stores is a strategy bigger than one store in Encinitas.

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  41. Over-priced yuppie vittles.

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  42. Sculpin(head) says "Ya all buy yer qualertee produce at them thar 99c store."

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  43. Those that are crying about them leaving are the same ones shopping at the big retailers for a better buy. Quit whinning!

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  44. I'm sick of the whinging about Whole Foods.

    New topic:

    The Crack Shack is ruining Encinitas.

    Discuss.

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    1. What is this hipster monstrosity? What is happening to our beautiful little city?? Sellouts with dollar signs in their eyes!

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    2. It's like the scene from The Exorcism where the statue of Mary suddenly grows a giant phallus and mammaries. Horrific and absurd. We rebuke you Satan. Yes I am serious.

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    3. What is the "Crack Shack"?

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    4. The new chicken place on Encinitas Blvd. near the In N Out. I live 5 minutes from here and I already have several crack shacks in my neighborhood with tweakers coming and going at all hours. But hey, it's vibrancy right?

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  45. David Myers said Prop A killed Whole Foods. Not enough clap traps like Pacific Station to enhance the downtown population, according to his personal profit driven rationale. This clown will never shut up.

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  46. Eating places and food markets come and go. Does anyone remember the Country Kitchen or El Comal or the Beach House? How about Skagg's Alpha Beta? Whether it's labor costs or changing customer demand or the quest for short-term profits.

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  47. David Meyer as an example of someone to listen to on anything under the universe?????

    No thanks Mikey.

    This cretin in our midst is a complete disgrace. He just loves to crap in his own front yard.

    Justice served would be that his front yard ocean facing views would be filled with all of this bonus density that he supports against anyone that happens to be so unfortunate to have some property that he wants to extend his zoning obliterating practice upon.

    For some reason, I feel for the Ecke family and probably should not. They have been much too silent over their despicable stepchilds' unending behavior.

    Turn his part of the golf course into a toilet for all his density aspirations. Now that would be justice served.

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    1. You're right! The failing golf course for density bonus, high density cookie cutter clap traps!

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  48. The Crack Shack looks fine except for the worlds largest fiberglass Chicken.. Don't we have zoning that prevents things like this? The nail in the coffin for Whole Foods was the opening of the Lazy Acres market which provides a much larger selection.

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