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November 23, 2017, 06:49:05 am
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TheArtist
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« Reply #210 on: October 13, 2017, 08:16:44 am »

Guess I am thinking about "real" grocery stores that I went to in London and Paris when I stayed there.  Usually there was a nearby small grocer that was smaller than DECOPOLIS but had all the basics I needed, milk, cereal, sandwich stuff, p&j, fruits and vegetables, some snacks (chips, crackers, cookies), soups, rice and noodles, etc. and then some basic toiletries.

In London there were 2 small grocers, each having a different "flavor" and things they seemed to specialize in (one had a lot more fruits and vegetables, loved the outside stands on the sidewalk), within 1-2 blocks of where I lived, then about 4 blocks away (on our downtown scale) was a bigger grocer that I would say was about 8-10,000 sq ft.   All were an easy walk but sometimes I just needed to grab a thing or two so the smaller close ones were perfect.  I guess also the attitude is different here in that I often see people here "stock up" on a lot of grocery items all at once, but there I saw a lot more people getting just a few items perhaps every few days or so as you walk past on the way to and from work or going somewhere. 

I hope downtown doesn't try to be "suburbia with tall buildings" downtown should be urban for downtown people. Trying to squash in suburbia will fight against that imho. If you want a suburban lifestyle go live in the suburban areas! There is pleeeenty of that in this part of the country that you don't need to friggin invade downtown with it too.
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
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« Reply #211 on: October 13, 2017, 09:26:36 am »

I think the overlooked customer base is downtown workers who don’t live downtown.  I would frequently stop by this store on the walk to my car after work and then head home with provisions for dinner.  That would save me the annoying stop at the 15th & Lewis Reasor’s (which will only be more annoying when the QuikTrip opens across the street).  I don’t know what the magic size is to be considered “full-service”, but this really needs to be big enough to offer all the traditional basic groceries and other home goods to be useful.
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Conan71
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« Reply #212 on: October 13, 2017, 09:43:00 pm »

I agree. In my opinion, downtown needs a full-service grocery store and preferably one with enough perks/features that will actually draw in people from outside the IDL. Tulsa is so easy to get around and people are very price-sensitive with shopping at grocery stores (lots of frugal people). Downtown grocery should be a bit like the Reasors on Brookside but with a much better patio area and more hot items.

Central Market is a perfect example of a grocery store that's a destination. Tons of quick ready-to-eat items, huge  bakery, and all the essentials plus formidable wine/beer selection (which will be an option next year). I think Reasors could pull it off if they were committed. I hope they take advantage, but sounds unlikely at this point.

Sounds much like Market Street which is a brand under United's umbrella in Texas.  Their store in Wichita Falls is the only one I've been to but it still sticks in my mind.  It would pretty much fill the bill as you described it.  It has many ready-to-eat options, as does Whole Foods but I think you are right again that you would attract a broader crowd with a more price-conscious approach.
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« Reply #213 on: October 16, 2017, 11:43:16 am »

Guess I am thinking about "real" grocery stores that I went to in London and Paris when I stayed there.  Usually there was a nearby small grocer that was smaller than DECOPOLIS but had all the basics I needed, milk, cereal, sandwich stuff, p&j, fruits and vegetables, some snacks (chips, crackers, cookies), soups, rice and noodles, etc. and then some basic toiletries.

In London there were 2 small grocers, each having a different "flavor" and things they seemed to specialize in (one had a lot more fruits and vegetables, loved the outside stands on the sidewalk), within 1-2 blocks of where I lived, then about 4 blocks away (on our downtown scale) was a bigger grocer that I would say was about 8-10,000 sq ft.   All were an easy walk but sometimes I just needed to grab a thing or two so the smaller close ones were perfect.  I guess also the attitude is different here in that I often see people here "stock up" on a lot of grocery items all at once, but there I saw a lot more people getting just a few items perhaps every few days or so as you walk past on the way to and from work or going somewhere. 

I hope downtown doesn't try to be "suburbia with tall buildings" downtown should be urban for downtown people. Trying to squash in suburbia will fight against that imho. If you want a suburban lifestyle go live in the suburban areas! There is pleeeenty of that in this part of the country that you don't need to friggin invade downtown with it too.


I also like those corner bodegas common in Europe where they have tons of stuff packed into a small space. That kind of place likely wouldn't do too well in Tulsa, even downtown. It would be cool if it did and I'd be all for one of those, but every "bodega" I've seen in the middle of the US has been either more of a deluxe convenient store or a quaint trendy-looking mini-grocery store. Both options usually have premium prices. Those 2 varieties seem to cater to either convenience (and thus pricey) or organic high-end shoppers (also pricey). Neither seems too practical for normal use as a grocery store. Maybe tons of competition helps keep prices in European bodegas down (or maybe they don't care about prices).

It seems like a lot of Americans are very committed to the brands they like for all sorts of things. So a place with only 1 option for salsa or limited chip brands won't do well for typical American shoppers. In those little corner bodegas in Europe, they typically only have one or maybe 2 brands per type of item. I am going to guess Americans on average buy a much wider range of foods than a European living in an urban area, especially fast/prepared food. I know I currently have probably several hundred food items from dozens of different places. There are many substitutions I am ok with but some where it is either that brand or nothing. I could get 90+% of what I need from a medium sized grocer like Trader Joes and could compromise to get most everything there in exchange for convenience, but those tiny bodegas would not work for me on a regular basis unless I was really desperate.

Another thing is that there's a complex relationship between having customers buying your fresh produce every day and keeping it in stock (which is expensive, especially if it isn't being bought). If I know for sure that place will have tomatoes, onions and avocados every day, I will more likely go there, but if they ever don't I'll stop depending on them and end up going elsewhere. Currently people might not expect that in a tiny corner store. Without the existing culture/expectations like they have in Paris, a small store would have a lot of trouble keeping produce going in Tulsa.
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« Reply #214 on: October 16, 2017, 06:23:06 pm »

Been talking to some friends about this and most of them are like, "If I lived downtown I would just order my food from Amazon or Reasors and have it delivered."  Heck we already have started using the Reasons app thing.  I personally HATE going grocery shopping, it bores me to death lol.

But anywhoo, some of those Braums stores have a lot of basic options, I could probably get by with that for most of what I need and then order anything else.  Those are probably about 500 sq ft. And then if I imagine DECOPOLIS at about 3,500 sq feet and just using the downstairs space even, I could put a LOT more selection than a Braums.   
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
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« Reply #215 on: October 17, 2017, 08:53:13 am »

Been talking to some friends about this and most of them are like, "If I lived downtown I would just order my food from Amazon or Reasors and have it delivered."  Heck we already have started using the Reasons app thing.  I personally HATE going grocery shopping, it bores me to death lol.

But anywhoo, some of those Braums stores have a lot of basic options, I could probably get by with that for most of what I need and then order anything else.  Those are probably about 500 sq ft. And then if I imagine DECOPOLIS at about 3,500 sq feet and just using the downstairs space even, I could put a LOT more selection than a Braums.   

True, affordable delivery of groceries changes the game (and maybe that is part of Reasor's hold up in this). However, most people still like to go shop for food and make decisions based on what looks good. Selecting grocery items on websites is more time consuming than grabbing stuff that looks good. But after you find your favorites, reordering is faster. I don't like grocery shopping either but I find the online ordering more of a pain because I don't buy the same things each time and searching by name often doesn't work and they don't seem to have all the same options shown online.

I agree you can get a lot in a small space  but so far no one who owns a Tulsa bodega downtown has done that well. The Goods Bodega is great for what it is but it will never be a place people go for staples. It is a trendy upscale quick-grab place. I am guessing it takes tons of upfront money and a complex supply chain schedule to get the kind of thing those Parisian grocers do, or even just something like what Braum's has.
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« Reply #216 on: October 17, 2017, 09:09:33 am »

Been talking to some friends about this and most of them are like, "If I lived downtown I would just order my food from Amazon or Reasors and have it delivered."  Heck we already have started using the Reasons app thing.  I personally HATE going grocery shopping, it bores me to death lol.

  


That is kinda sad!  Part of the fun of cooking is going to the store to look at everything, finding the occasional 'surprise' ingredient, and just be able to walk the aisles thinking about what to make and how to combine the different components/flavors..!!  

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« Reply #217 on: October 17, 2017, 09:12:10 am »

Been talking to some friends about this and most of them are like, "If I lived downtown I would just order my food from Amazon or Reasors and have it delivered."  Heck we already have started using the Reasons app thing.  I personally HATE going grocery shopping, it bores me to death lol.

But anywhoo, some of those Braums stores have a lot of basic options, I could probably get by with that for most of what I need and then order anything else.  Those are probably about 500 sq ft. And then if I imagine DECOPOLIS at about 3,500 sq feet and just using the downstairs space even, I could put a LOT more selection than a Braums.   

Nearly all people in Oklahoma drive to the grocery store nearly all of the time.  Even if it is a few blocks away, most will drive down to the store to get a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.  Let alone actual grocery shopping. For most people, having a grocery store within 5 miles is the same thing as having one within 5 blocks...they aren't walking either way.

But that behavior is different for people who want to live in an urban space.  If a family can get down to one car.  Or park a car and leave it for the weekend.  To make that happen, having somewhere within walking distance to get the basics is essential.  A QT, a Braums market, a CVS, or the market that opened on Cinci in the Tulsa Arts District (fka Brady Arts District...) all serve that purpose fairly well.   A full grocery store would of course be better, but not a requirement IMHO.

You can order food for delivery if you plan ahead, if you need a gallon of milk or some butter to finish cooking - that isn't an option.
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« Reply #218 on: October 17, 2017, 10:18:27 am »

Been talking to some friends about this and most of them are like, "If I lived downtown I would just order my food from Amazon or Reasors and have it delivered."  Heck we already have started using the Reasons app thing.  I personally HATE going grocery shopping, it bores me to death lol.  

Interesting discussion.  Do you think by seeking/focusing on a full service grocery store we are trying to meet yesterday’s demands that won’t exist tomorrow?  I am not sold on the home delivery of groceries, but I know a lot of people who think it is the greatest thing ever.  In some ways, perhaps a downtown grocery store has come to serve as a proxy for the arrival of downtown’s critical mass as a residential destination.  Until we get one, many believe we have not yet “arrived.”

So far, downtown residents seem to be primarily young singles/childless couples and older empty nesters.  I could see the needs and expectations of these two different groups in this regard varying substantially.

Perhaps a smaller groceries only store would be better downtown, but likely only if we also had an urban Walgreen’s or CVS for toiletries and other personal items to fill the gap.  Indeed, maybe the perfect blend would be to divide this proposed Annex space for both to exist side-by-side.

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« Reply #219 on: October 17, 2017, 12:32:25 pm »

Perhaps a smaller groceries only store would be better downtown, but likely only if we also had an urban Walgreen’s or CVS for toiletries and other personal items to fill the gap.  Indeed, maybe the perfect blend would be to divide this proposed Annex space for both to exist side-by-side.

I spend most of my time downtown as that is where I live and work. A grocery store inside the IDL would be awesome because that is one less time I have to drive my car a week. Places like Goods are cool, but 11-7 doesn't always work for me and I want more selection.

But honestly if I had a choice between a grocery store or a CVS and say, a movie theater going into the ANNEX I would choose the latter.
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« Reply #220 on: October 17, 2017, 08:47:06 pm »

Reasor's and Walmart online-ordering/pickup seem to be doing well. Having this at the downtown store would be nice because I could place an order, and pick it up on the way home. Or place an order for work and pick it up on the way to the office. Office birthday? Someone hands you a cake, plates and forks while driving to the office.
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« Reply #221 on: October 18, 2017, 08:41:18 am »

Reasor's and Walmart online-ordering/pickup seem to be doing well. Having this at the downtown store would be nice because I could place an order, and pick it up on the way home. Or place an order for work and pick it up on the way to the office. Office birthday? Someone hands you a cake, plates and forks while driving to the office.

What would be neat is if they put in a moderate-small sized grocer (say a 5,000 sq ft grocer, be it Reasors, Walmart Neighborhood Market or Whole Foods) and set it up so that you could order online anything they have at a regular store and get a discounted rate/membership or even free delivery to that store, similar to what Home Depot does. So downtown residents can get all the same things at any other store with the convenience of walking to the store plus options to buy any necessities last-minute.

That would be perfect for me. I like the idea of delivery as an option but am not sold on the cost of membership plus leaving a tip (If you get 20 deliveries a year, thats $4/delivery plus if you do, what, 10% on the tip, that could be $7 extra for a $30 order or $14 extra for a  $100 order which is about what we typically do per trip). If I could just do pickup for a smaller fee (or free if I lived downtown), I would absolutely do that more often.
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« Reply #222 on: October 18, 2017, 10:19:17 am »

Long time lurker, first time poster to this forum here.

 I found this post rather funny/interesting, and it reminded me of what we had out at the University of Arkansas that opened up a couple years ago, that we nicknamed "Small-Mart", as it was coined "the world's smallest Wal-Mart". It was a great little store that was incredibly convenient for all the students to just walk right over and grab what you needed for a few days. It was built in a corner at the ground floor of a new parking garage.

https://www.fayettevilleflyer.com/2011/01/14/now-open-walmart-on-campus/

Given that this model was obviously geared toward college students (snack food and school supplies), I can see something similar working in downtown Tulsa, where it's more of a get in-get out, yet is always stocked up, AND doesn't feel too constricting space-wise. I agree Tulsa does need a grocery store downtown, though I also know that grocery stores in Tulsa have historically disintegrated any urban conditions in their surroundings. This opens up a huge opportunity for a building type Tulsa has yet to truly see built downtown. I am very interested in seeing how people will react to something like this downtown.
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« Reply #223 on: October 18, 2017, 11:00:39 am »

Long time lurker, first time poster to this forum here.

 I found this post rather funny/interesting, and it reminded me of what we had out at the University of Arkansas that opened up a couple years ago, that we nicknamed "Small-Mart", as it was coined "the world's smallest Wal-Mart". It was a great little store that was incredibly convenient for all the students to just walk right over and grab what you needed for a few days. It was built in a corner at the ground floor of a new parking garage.

https://www.fayettevilleflyer.com/2011/01/14/now-open-walmart-on-campus/

Given that this model was obviously geared toward college students (snack food and school supplies), I can see something similar working in downtown Tulsa, where it's more of a get in-get out, yet is always stocked up, AND doesn't feel too constricting space-wise. I agree Tulsa does need a grocery store downtown, though I also know that grocery stores in Tulsa have historically disintegrated any urban conditions in their surroundings. This opens up a huge opportunity for a building type Tulsa has yet to truly see built downtown. I am very interested in seeing how people will react to something like this downtown.



Welcome, Lurker!!  You waited way too long to join the fray...



There is kind of a semi-fancy hotel in Milwaukee (The Pfister) - at least according to their pricing - that used to have a small grocery/deli/quiktrip type place right across the street for many years.  Was open very long hours and while not having a massive number of SKU's, it did have enough selection to serve a good part of their downtown area.  When in town, it was the "go to" place for downtown people.  It appears they are now gone, probably due to rent increases and the overall upward economic activity going on there - there was a for lease sign in their window last time I was there.  It will be missed I am sure.

Do we have a place for a small grocery that won't be overburdened, and unable to succeed, by escalating rents??    (My guess is no...)


« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 11:02:12 am by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

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« Reply #224 on: October 18, 2017, 12:42:54 pm »


Welcome, Lurker!!  You waited way too long to join the fray...



There is kind of a semi-fancy hotel in Milwaukee (The Pfister) - at least according to their pricing - that used to have a small grocery/deli/quiktrip type place right across the street for many years.  Was open very long hours and while not having a massive number of SKU's, it did have enough selection to serve a good part of their downtown area.  When in town, it was the "go to" place for downtown people.  It appears they are now gone, probably due to rent increases and the overall upward economic activity going on there - there was a for lease sign in their window last time I was there.  It will be missed I am sure.

Do we have a place for a small grocery that won't be overburdened, and unable to succeed, by escalating rents??    (My guess is no...)




Thanks for the welcome! I have actually followed this forum since my high school days at BTW and have just now (7 years later) decided I wanted to add some input...

When I graduated college I had the opportunity to work out in San Francisco (You want to talk escalating rent!) for two years for a big architecture firm (That I am currently still working for in our Dallas office). It's interesting reading all these comments about corner stores/ mom&pop type places and having to often rely solely on these types of stores for food and whatnot. Being from Oklahoma I was so used to loading up my jeep with groceries and being set for weeks!

My first eye opener out in SF was when I loaded up a shopping cart, while not even considering the fact I didn't have a car to take it all home in, and then having to maker a couple trips up this insanely steep small "mountain" I lived on . I'm sure most Tulsans have the same mentality when it comes to grocery shopping in that we need to load up on everything so we wont have to come back for awhile, and it would be tough for something to change that. We enjoy convenience and quantity over the "experience".  My point being that the store would have to have some familiarity to Tulsa and not be too gimmicky and shoehorned into its context. We cant just build a grocery store downtown for the sake of having one, as it almost requires a shift in mindset to make it truly be successful.

I'm by no means advocating that SF was doing it better, as the prices, shelf life and keeping things in stock would often scare me to order my groceries with all these start-ups' fancy apps in the delivery realm, which just felt odd. But hey, I had to get the full silicon valley experience!
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