Tag Archives: safeway

Kuna Williams at his desk at Ideation Design Group. Photo by Kaleigh Shufeldt

Ideation Design Group employee drafts path to recovery

Exactly one year ago, Kuna Williams walked into Ideation Design Group looking for a job. He knew the principals Carl Schaffer and Jennifer Reynolds from his past employment as a drafter for a fabrication company that had worked with Ideation. Within two weeks, Williams was drafting for Ideation and working with a great team.

While this may seem like any other employment story, Williams is far from average. In 2006, he was hit by a truck while riding his motorcycle and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Although Williams had been wearing a helmet, he had damage to his left temporal lobe.

He spent a year relearning everything – from walking, to brushing his teeth and going to the bathroom. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Williams progressed through his rehabilitation at Barrow Neurological Institute.

He started working at Safeway as a bagger, which Williams said taught him responsibility, timeliness and people skills. His employment at Safeway seemed to be the end of the line, until August 2013.

Ideation Design Group is an interior architecture and design firm focusing on retail, restaurants, airports and hotels located around the country.

“Me working at a job like this is out of the picture,” Williams said of his job at Ideation. He took the initiative, challenging himself and the preconceived notions of people with brain injuries. “If you throw yourself out there and you have a brain injury, people automatically think ‘oh, he’s damaged goods’ and they’re not wiling to take that chance,” Williams said. Schaffer and Reynolds were not those people.

Entrepreneurs look for employees that persevere, even in the face of adversity. “The fact that he didn’t give up and the fact that he had that drive and the ambition,” Schaffer said. “That’s the core.”

Throughout the year Williams worked tirelessly. He is challenged every day, but he is also getting mentally stronger every day, Schaffer said.

In April 2013, Williams decided to get outside support. Jennifer Hunsaker, a job coach at Barrow’s Center for Transition NeuroRehabilitation, started working with Williams and his drafting team at Ideation.

Hunsaker said she helped Williams create checklists for tasks, organize his workspace and better communicate with his team. The goal was to “increase what he feels confident with and what he can do at work,” Hunsaker said.

To that end, Williams’ team gives him homework to introduce him to new projects or practice what he learned at work. It’s a step-by-step process, presented in a way that Williams can ask questions and get feedback from his team, Hunsaker said.

Williams is motivated, hard working and has a strong work ethic, Hunsaker said. His drive and initiative are key parts to being successful.

When he first started working at Ideation no one, not even Williams, knew how his brain injury would affect his work. Schaffer said they started him slowly and he has kept growing from there.

If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too, Schaffer said.

Williams said his job is a blessing backed by faith and believing that taking a chance would make a difference in his life.

The message is clear and no one put it better than Williams himself – “Don’t give up and believe in yourself.”

Shea Scottsdale Safeway

Safeway sale creates looming cloud over Phoenix retail real estate market

Over the past two years, the Phoenix retail real estate market continues to improve with lowered

vacancy rates and strong absorption. The one area that persists as a cause for concern is the number of vacant big boxes in the market. With the recent announcement of the impending sale of Safeway to one or more of their competitors, this is news that could create further hardship in the Arizona shopping center industry; here is why.

Overall Phoenix retail market 4Q 2013.

Overall Phoenix retail market 4Q 2013.

 

Currently, there are 308 vacant big boxes in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Over 56% of these boxes are in neighborhood shopping centers.

 

This amounts to a total of 175 vacant boxes in neighborhood centers. Never before in the history of the Phoenix area have we ever come close to having this amount of vacancies in our neighborhood shopping centers.

 

When a grocery store becomes vacant in a neighborhood center this obviously creates a harmful effect on the small shop tenants in the shopping center who depend on the traffic driven by the grocery store. A grocery anchored center does not have the same pulling power to draw customers that a power center or regional mall does. Neighborhood centers typically only reach shoppers in a one to three mile radius. These smaller trade areas are the hardest to replace from a re-tenanting perspective if there is not another grocery store that can fill the void.

Vacant big boxes by type of center.

Vacant big boxes by type of center.

 

 

With the continued transformation of the grocery industry shifting to regional trade areas and to larger and larger formats often over 100,000 square feet, retailers such as WinCo, Super Wal-Mart and Fry’s Marketplace are not viable candidates for these neighborhood centers. Additionally, many times a grocery store has a restriction against another grocery store going into the same space, limiting the already small pool of potential replacement tenants even further. These types of vacancies also have a very negative effect on the value of this type of shopping center. Many of them have lost 70% to 80% of their value because of a vacant anchor.

 

When Basha’s filed for bankruptcy in 2009 they left 25 vacant grocery stores in their wake. Today, five years later 13 stores — over half —are still vacant. If Safeway is sold to someone who is currently in our grocery market, I fear that there will be a rash of store closings which will further exacerbate our big box problem – just as we are starting to gain some ground.

 

Neighborhood shopping centers have been a mainstay for investors as power centers have lost some of their appeal in recent years. Neighborhood centers were considered a safer investment as they had not been affected by the downsizing and consolidations among the power center users (electronic stores and office supply, are examples). Many REITs are looking for a safer product type for their investors and neighborhood centers fit their criteria nicely. A merger of this type will cause the investors to step back and evaluate their options even further.

 

In the event of a Safeway-Albertson’s merger this could be one of the better outcomes for Arizona, as Albertson’s would have an opportunity to increase their footprint and market share in Phoenix. In this event, don’t be surprised if there is a large block of stores that hit the marketplace, which will impact our improving yet still fragile retail market.

 

The grocery business in Arizona is very diverse and like all retail, will continue to evolve. There is no doubt that we will have some interesting times on the horizon. Let’s hope that this merger creates a cloud that has a silver lining, and that however this merger shakes out that the stores are able to continue to operate and not add to our big box surplus.

Press Conference_Fresh-Express

Discovery Triangle Launches Healthy Initiative

The Discovery Triangle Development Corporation is launching a fresh food initiative that will bring a mobile produce market to underserved neighborhoods located in the Discovery Triangle. The “Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle” will sell fresh, affordable and high-quality fruits and vegetables out of a donated, retrofitted Valley Metro bus.

A launch event was held on February 25 at the Brunson-Lee Elementary School in Phoenix. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell jumped off the bus with bags of apples for the kids. The mayors and community partners spoke at the event. The bus, stocked with fresh produce, was available for tours.

“The Fresh Express is another example of Phoenix finding innovative ways to address problems and improve the quality of life of residents,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Tempe children and families in need in this area will be well served by the new service,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is a great – and truly fresh – idea to make our community even stronger and healthier.”

The Discovery Triangle, which facilitates redevelopment in Phoenix and Tempe, developed the initiative after examining the lack of accessible grocery stores in the area, considered a “food desert,” and seeing a need to enhance the health of residents. Providing a mobile option is key since many of the residents in the area depend on public transportation.

“As civic entrepreneurs, the Discovery Triangle brings partners together to solve issues impacting the region. We believe increasing the accessibility of affordable, healthy food and health education will boost the region’s economic development opportunities,” said Don Keuth, president of the Discovery Triangle Development Corporation.

Fresh Express by Discovery Triangle will begin selling produce in March with a pilot program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Routes will include schools, senior centers, parks, churches and other gathering places throughout the Discovery Triangle region.

Chase Bank, the founding sponsor, provided seed and operations funding to help launch Fresh Express. “Many people in the Discovery Triangle are dependent on public transportation to get to a grocery store. Now residents will have more options with the Fresh Express bringing affordable fruits and vegetables to convenient, walkable locations,” said Paul Groves, who heads the JPMorgan Private Bank in Arizona.

The bus also will offer on-board community health resources including nutrition education and health screenings. Produce will be sold at affordable prices. All forms of payment will be accepted including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

FRESH EXPRESS PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

Several local organizations are partnering on the initiative:

· Discovery Triangle Development Corporation – Managing the initiative

· Valley Metro – Coordinating bus operations and in-kind donations

· Peddler’s Son – Providing fruits and vegetables

· ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation – Offering health screenings

· UMOM New Day Centers – Providing training and staffing

Sponsors whose donations have made the bus possible:

· Chase (founding sponsor)

· Valley Metro

· Junior League of Phoenix

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· Arizona Community Foundation

· St. Luke’s Health Initiative

· eeko Studio

· Blue Media

· First Transit

· Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority

· UA College of Medicine

· Southwest Gas

· Creative Bus Sales Arizona

· ThermoGuard

· Custom Made Gas Tanks

· Safeway

· Phoenix I

nightrun

Calling All Night Owls to Scottsdale's The Night Run

The Night Run 8k and 3-mile fun run returns to Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday, May 11. Beginning at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, the 8k course will wind through Old Town’s night club district and along the greenbelt.

Known as “Night Run for the Arts” from the mid-1980s until 2009, the fitness tradition continues to promote healthy lifestyles.

Co-directors John Lookabaugh and Tricia Schafer took over the event in 2012 and had the 8k course certified by USA Track & Field, bringing a more competitive edge to the event. Last year, three state age group records were set, and this year promises a race fit for both elites and beginners.

“We’ve preserved the local nature of the event, and are shining the spotlight on Old Town,” explains Co-director Tricia Schafer. “We connect with our participants, sponsors, and vendors early on, creating a unique feeling of community. Many of our participants get to know each other through our training groups, vOWLunteer network, team challenge, owl mascot photo-ops, or social media contests, which makes race night feel sort of like a reunion.”

The Night Run raised $10,000 last year for Workshops for Youth & Families, a non-profit that provides leadership and development programs for teens and their parents.

“We are ready to run, walk and have fun again in 2013!” said Workshops Founder Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger. “Our 34-year history of active programming is a perfect fit with The Night Run. We want to expand our reach and increase scholarships that will influence more youth to make long-term positive health choices.”

Supporters of the 2013 event include the K2 Adventures Foundation, GoDaddy.com, SCF Arizona, Oh Yeah! Nutrition, Safeway, Security Title, and Squire Sanders LLP.

The 3-mile run/walk will begin at 7:15 p.m. and the competitive 8k at 8 p.m. Children 12 and under can participate in the 3-mile for free with a registered adult. New to this year, participants will receive reflective “night owl” shirts and there will be live owls from Liberty Wildlife at the Owl’s Nest during the event’s Health and Wellness expo.

For more race information and registration, visit thenightrun.org

Know Your Customer: Gathering Data to Build Marketing Campaigns

Know Your Customer: Gathering Data To Build Marketing Campaigns

There was a time when we relied largely on focus groups and surveys to learn who was buying the products and services we were touting and what they thought about the experience. Thanks to technology, today we have access to a wealth of data to help build marketing campaigns that will catch the attention of potential consumers. To some, the tools used to gather information are seen as an invasion of privacy, while others view it as smart business. For any company, big or small, the reality is that data is now accessible and a valuable tool for creating more efficient and effective communications.

In early spring, Target stores received a great deal of attention for their “data grab” practices that made it possible to predict a woman’s pregnancy, thus sending specific coupons and mailers anticipating her shopping needs. An article in Forbes detailed Target’s practices and explained that they are not the only one gathering data: “Retailers are studying details to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy.”

Similarly, Safeway stores recently launched an online and mobile coupon application that gives customers discounts based on their shopping history. The program called “Just for U” tracks customer purchases through the Safeway Club Card and uses the information to create personalized discounts on specific products. Safeway’s marketing gurus recognized it was not enough to offer coupons and weekly deals to entice shoppers to choose their store over the many other options; the deals need to be personal, they need to matter to the customer.

As a small business owner lacking the deep pockets to employ an in-house statistician tracking your customer’s every move or a team of marketing experts to roll-out individualized messaging, you may think it would be nice to know more, but it just isn’t possible. While it is true that you may not have the resources of the marketing departments at Target or Safeway, you do have the ability to gather valuable information about your customers and create more targeted and effective messaging.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides tools for gaining insight about how visitors use your website, how they find your site, which pages they are visiting, and how you can keep them coming back. It also helps to understand why some visitors buy from you and others don’t. Gathering data and information on your Web traffic gives you valuable feedback for making adjustments to your website and your marketing programs to help increase conversions and meet your goals.

2. Facebook

The insight section on your Facebook brand page is full of valuable details. It not only provides the information on the number of people talking your business and the reach your posts are getting, but it also provides the demographic breakdown of those that like your page as well as the geographic location from which they are coming. You can also learn which posts generate the most response about your company and its products. Utilizing this data can help you target your marketing campaign with online and/or print ads and create messaging that will get your customer to take notice.

3. Email

A monthly e-newsletter or weekly e-blasts can be a fairly inexpensive way to market. It can also provide you with valuable data and feedback. You can track who opened your emails, who forwarded them and who clicked on which links. Understanding what people are interested in reading about helps to tailor your content to get the best response and increase sales.

Knowing not only who your customer is, but what they like can help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts and how to allocate your budget. Taking the time and effort to learn about your consumers’ behavior and interests is like a courtship. If you want to generate repeat customers — and actually secure that second date — learn more about them.

For more information about gathering data about your customers to help build your marketing campaigns, and/or marketingworx and its services, visit marketingworxpr.com.