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Fred, Nigh-er. (Heh.)

Closing time. One last call for alcohol (50% off), so finish your whiskey or beer — I mean, finish your shopping.

This morning I made my last shopping trip to the Southeast Fred Meyer, which is closing. Its closure got moved up, as I'd sort of expected, from January 20th to officially tomorrow, the 13th, but I wonder if it'll close to the public today.

I'd gone there for my last big shopping trip on December 30th, a Saturday. That time I bought toys and new bedsheets (each half-off or more), along with groceries. I'd peeked in this past Wednesday, detouring on my way to the Holgate branch of the library, and what I saw then I saw more so today: merchandise moved where possible to the front of aisles, and not much of that merchandise left. Almost everything, including wine, was half-off. I resisted getting some; I'm still not drinking alcohol, for now.

My shopping cost $20.48. I saved $20.75, a hair over 50%; I'd inadvertently used two coupons I hadn't realized were loaded to my Fred Meyer Rewards Card. This made up for me trying to use a coupon I thought I had, but either I'd taken that other coupon off or (more likely) it had expired. (I didn't save more than that because I'd bought a total of 13 cans and bottles of soda, which in Oregon means $1.30 in can-and-bottle deposits.) Of course, the non-couponed products were still half-off.

So I took advantage. I'd prefer if the store weren't closing, but that ship has sailed. Because I was curious, I looked up Portland stores on the Fred Meyer app, and saw this:

The Southeast store is starred, but otherwise its upcoming closure, as far as I can tell, isn't noted yet. The other markers are for Fred Meyers and (when smaller) the QFC stores that the Fred Meyer company bought in the Nineties, before Fred Meyer and Kroger merged, so obviously we're not hurting for stores, and general disclaimer that I like Fred Meyer and do most of my grocery shopping there, but...I feel a little abandoned, and I'm one of many who feels that way. The company really does rarely close stores: it mostly remodels or replaces. I was working for Kroger's customer service call center a few years ago when another store, in the north part of Spokane, Washington, closed, and I saw similar reactions from the people who'd shopped there. I understood their feelings then, and I do more so now.

No idea what'll be there next. I half-joked to myself the Belmont Goats could move in if they need a much (MUCH) bigger shelter; and hey, if The Librarians comes back and does an episode set in a big former store, this place would fit. Eventually, as it's a major intersection, SE 82nd and Foster will get something, and it'll likely be big...but that will almost certainly take a while. Until then, fences (already going up yesterday) will block off the parking lot. And a lot if us will start going farther for food and goods.



Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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December 2022


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