But I hate Washington state law. It says no selling beer after 2:00am. I was in Safeway this morning (or last night, hard to define), buying some chips and beers before joining the deployment in office. When I checked out, the cashier told me "sorry, no beer after two, it's the Washington state law". It's too bad. It was just 2:03 at that moment. Just three mintes too late. I ended up walking out of Safeway with chips only. I don't like that law. American always have some weird laws.
Safeway is indeed good. It's 24 hours like the tiny convenience stores in Shanghai, but it's much much much larger. Some of the Safeway stores are even larger than some Carrefour stores in Shanghai. I always cannot understand how Safeway afford so many 24 hours big supermarkets (there are 22 Safeway stores around Lake Washington: Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, etc.). Shanghai has much more population and higher density. But no supermarket in Shanghai can afford 24 hours.
I was chatting this with friends. They had some theories. Some believe Safeway can run 24 hours because there is no 24 hours convenience stores in the states, therefore, when night owls want to buy something, Safeway probably their only choice. It's not really true. First, those 7-11s are still available at every gas station. Safeway is not really the only choice. Second, there aren't many buyers at Safeway in mid night. This morning, 2:00am, there were probably 2-3 buyers in that store, including me. That Safeway probably won't sell as much as a convenience store in Shanghai from mid night to dawn.
Some other's theory is: Safeway actually lose money by keeping stores open in mid night, but this helps Safeway to build brand image and customer loyalty. It's a valid point. But why there is no supermarket in Shanghai doing this? Don't Carrefour want to build better brand image? The Carrefour in Gu Bei runs until 12:00am. Why can it further extend? Cannot, or don't want to? Why? Don't forget that the labor cost in Shanghai is much lower than in the states.
Anyway, I like Safeway. It's a place that makes me feel safer when I am travelling in here alone. In late night, walking through the stacks, smelling, looking at the fruits, meat and all types of food around me, it makes me feel pretty happy.