As of last weekend, my hometown of Powell, Wyoming now has three supermarkets stores. The newest one is Albertson’s—they had their grand opening last Saturday.
Powell has a population of a little over 6,418 people as of 2021. I don’t know what the recommended ratio should be for population and supermarkets, but it seems a bit precarious, which means something has to give.
Although I didn’t go near Albertson’s on the day they opened, I did have a look around the following day and walked out with a purchase an underwhelming purchase of just under $20.
My first impressions of Albertson’s is that the place is tight with isles that are narrow and high. It must have been a real circus in there on the opening day given that their parking lot was full. In comparison, Blair’s (one of the other supermarkets) is much more spacious, but I think once the shoppers of Powell are over the novelty of Albertson’s it won’t feel as claustrophobic with the everyday shopping numbers.
The first thing I did was make a comparison between Albertson’s and the reigning champ of Powell, Blair’s. A loaf of Franz’s Cinnamon Swirl bread (a favorite of mine in the mornings) was on sale at both Blair’s and Albertson’s. Blair’s had it reduced down to $5.99 while Albertson’s brought it down fifty-more cents at $5.49.
The third store in town is Mr. D’s. It was once an IGA, but went through a change in ownership several years ago. Since that time, it hasn’t really kept pace with the offerings and prices at Blair’s. Probably the only attraction in shopping there is their liquor store which is larger, roomier, and seems to have more offerings than Blair’s. I can’t remember the last time I walked through Mr. D’s pushing a shopping cart.
I think Blair’s will remain as my supermarket default for two reasons: 1) they carry my favorite tortillas that are made in Billings (Trevino’s), and 2) because I typically ride my bike to the supermarket, Blair’s is closer. Albertson’s will be at least a half mile farther, and on a cold day or night, that’s a big difference on a bicycle. Further, although Blair’s has been around since 1980, their store is fairly modern—it certainly doesn’t feel antiquated in comparison to the new Albertson’s. I also like the fact that Blair’s offers paper bags which I prefer over plastic and they are better for transporting groceries in the front basket of my bicycle. My only notable complaint directed at Blair’s is the ugly typeface their logo incorporates—some generic stencil-esque, all-caps bullshit.
It was recently reported to me that Mr. D’s had an equipment failure that was responsible for all of their freezers going down and thus their contents was lost and discarded. Some would say that—combined with the arrival of Albertson’s—signals the beginning of the end for Mr. D’s.
A few other items worth noting are the following:
Albertson’s is not a fresh build. It was previously a Shopko store and before that was a Pamida store.
Blairs was once a smaller store located just a little north of where the current store is. They built the new and larger store in the late 1990s? Blair’s have been in business since 1980.
All three stores seem to be close to the same size.
Oh, and the new Albertson’s also has a Starbuck’s coffee shop and a pharmacy. That’s two other entities that are abundant is this town as well.
Like I said before, something has got to give.
Albertson’s Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Blair’s Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Mr. D’s Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.