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Milpitas Nob Hill Store to Close

Raley's has announced it will close two more stores over the next few months - and one of them is the Milpitas Nob Hill location.

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, Raley's, which owns various grocery store chains, has announced it will close two more of its northern California stores over the next few months - a Raley's in Rancho Cordova, and the .

The article states that Raley's cited increased competition from low-cost competitors as the reason for several recent store closures, and that Raley's has been attempting to renegotiate labor contracts with its union in an effort to lower operating costs.

However, some speculate that Walmart is supplying a big portion of the stiff competition that companies like Raley's are experiencing. 

The fact that Walmart is a non-union company means it can get away with paying its employees less.

In 2010, when Walmart announced it wanted to expand its McCarthy Ranch location in Milpitas to add approximately 20,000 more square feet - much of which would be in the grocery section - many City officials like Vice Mayor Pete McHugh and retailers in Milpitas.

Also interesting is the fact that, before the state's redevelopment agencies (RDAs) were dissolved recently, the City - meaning, the City could collect RDA money to improve and redevelop it.

However, Santa Clara County shot down Milpitas' effort to declare the shopping center "distressed," saying it was doing too well to be considered blight.

Would that decision have gone differently with the loss of Nob Hill? One may never know, now that RDAs are a thing of the past.

Robert March 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Hard to believe the low cost, none union grocery stores like Sea food city and Marina food Ocean market are not mentioned in this story. Make you wonder if the "reporter" is totally out of touch with reality. From the looks of the picture the report is a non Hispanic white and everyone knows that this group only represents 20% of people in Milpitas. Face it people - Nob Hill catered to snobby, unionized, high income white population of Milpitas. Failure market - the 1% some would say. LOL
Kenny March 04, 2012 at 07:59 PM
No matter how much I shop there etc, this is never a great thing to hear. Nobhill was is a convenient location for those who lived by there, and for students who could only afford a can of Arizona Tea. Their prices were never too high, I think they had some decent sales. I hope the employees can find new jobs in a quick manner. Still, it's never great to hear a store have to close down. I wonder what plans on coming in and replacing it, I mean it is a huge piece of land.
Jennifer van der Kleut March 04, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The reason Walmart is mentioned in this story is because the Sacramento Bee article states Raley's has identified Walmart as one of the low-cost competitors that is driving many of their stores out of business. I did not choose to mention Walmart out of personal opinion. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts!
Maureen Tanai March 05, 2012 at 06:06 AM
I am very sad to learn that Nob Hill is closing down. :( I had many memories there growing up. That grocery store was friendly and had great customer service, unlike some other popular grocery store chains where the employees act like fake robots and seem totally impersonal. Milpitas has 4 Asian supermarkets, and 3 other supermarkets (not including Nob Hill). I will not trust groceries from Wal-mart. A corporation's purpose is to generate as much money as possible for the stockholders. I just don't think that high-quality food is on their agenda since better foods cost more money. I would love to see an organic food grocery store in Milpitas. I know a lot of people who travel to other cities to shop for organic groceries. In addition, an organic grocery store that would hopefully replace Nob Hill, is just down the street from the elementary, middle, and high school. I think it sends an excellent "healthy eating habits" message to the kids. If Milpitas wants to update that shopping center, an organic food store would easily do the trick! I wonder if it would even move some of the traffic on Calaveras to Jacklin, creating an easier flow. Milpitas has a city hall and library that show it's 2012. However, the lack of an organic food store contradicts in (not to mention the way outdated city parks (what is it, the 70's?!)). I grew up in Milpitas, and love it! However, I would really like to see the city evolve to the present time a little bit more.
Kenny March 05, 2012 at 06:13 AM
I think a Trader Joes or Whole Foods Market would be amazing for the area. Do you know how often my mom complains about wanting to go to either and I have to complain about how far it is? As expensive as it is, organic and green are becoming the new thing to do. I strongly believe these would generate revenue and hugely attract customers. Though once again, Nob Hill had to close because of their low price competitors. I guess it really depends on how many people in Milpitas would really care for this idea. But I think it should be looked into. Probably won't be read till 2014.. but oh well :(.
Maureen Tanai March 05, 2012 at 06:15 AM
I respect your opinion, however my experiences at Nob Hill is that they always provided over and beyond customer service to me. Nob Hill was real with their prices. I'm not mentioning names, but one grocery store always has savings, discounts, and sales, but the discounted price is usually more expensive than regular selling prices at nearby grocery stores. I just feel like those kinds of stores find pleasure in fooling people. The environment and atmosphere is not as important to me as genuineness, but I don't think many people agree with me in this day and age since our culture today is shaped with the idea that visual appeal is very important.
Maureen Tanai March 05, 2012 at 06:21 AM
If a corporation's main focus isn't to make more money for stockholders, then the survival of it will die. In the long run, corporations make everything more efficient, more bang for the buck, and hence there is less poverty per population in the world today than there was in the agricultural era. On the contrary, I think with the pressure to be better and better means that it's easy to lose track of what's good for everyone as a whole. It is kind to remind them where the fences are, and sometimes they need a bigger wake up call.
Maureen Tanai March 05, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Exactly my train of thought. Nob Hill had great organic meat, egg, and milk selection. I'm going to miss that... They had so many varieties to choose from, and that made me really happy. If Milpitas wants to help the flow of traffic and add prestige to the city, it might be a good idea to add an organic food store.
Sifu Paddler March 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Hard to believe that back in '86, neighbors were concerned about traffic and environmental impact that the proposed shopping center anchored by Nob Hill and Rite Aid would have on the former walnut orchard. Same folks maybe lamenting the loss of a great neighborhood grocer. Its through no fault of their own as it was corporate decision. Nobody in the boardroom wants to hear about the great service, quality goods or the fact that they filled a niche with regards to the neighborhood as well as many, many, many MHS students. Nob Hill be missed. TJs or Whole Foods in Milpitas? Doubt it. As a specialty grocer, TJs would need to be in a high traffic area. Despite the precense of 24 Fitness, that's not enough to generate the foot traffic needed to turn a profit. As for Whole Foods, they are too over priced and their wouldn't be any appreciation for their upscale produce and service. Their self serve prepared foods and salad bar runs 7.99 a pound! Whos going to pay for that in Milpitas when people are arguing for better value at Walmart. The thing is that Nob Hill will leave a void for a traditional grocer in Milpitas. Ethnic stores outnumber traditional grocers 3 to 1. Though good in one sense, I find their service to be indifferent at times as well as the occassional 'quality' of ethinics goods, domestic or imported. More importantly, many of the ethnic grocers do not carry the everyday items that people need.
Sam March 05, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I think what will probably happen is that the store will be divided in half to accommodate two smaller tenants. Likely tenants, I think, would be Grocery Outlet and an expanded dollar-type discount store. Not the greatest, but better than an empty storefront.
Sifu Paddler March 06, 2012 at 01:36 AM
You're probably right Sam. Either a Grocery Outlet or a Fresh n Easy. Anything is better than an empty store front as long as its patronized.
Diana Boggs March 06, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I moved to Milpitas from Sacramento in 2003 and tried a number of the local grocery stores and was most impressed with Nob Hill Foods. The prices were reasonable, the food fresh and the employees friendly and helpful. When Safeway opened nearby I tried to shop there but found myself pushed around by other customers and generally ignored by the staff. The prices were geared toward buying in bulk. I have a large family but didn't have the storage for such large quantities. When my children were teenagers they applied for positions there and I was extremely impressed by the training and mentoring involved. I was also pleased to know that they were to join a union. I am retired but am still a part of a large union and now that I am disabled it is wonderful to know that I am taken care of by this union. I believe that in these fragile times the security of belonging to a union and knowing that you cannot be let go on a moments notice is worth the cost. I feel sorry for the people who have no choice but to work for a company like Walmart and always live in fear of losing their jobs. As to what another reader said regarding nationality...I am hispanic and have never felt discriminated against while shopping at Nob Hill. I don't know where I am going to continue shopping but I may make the extra effort to find another local Raley's Brand store. Good service is worth paying for and I am willing to go the extra mile (or more).
Nobhillshopper March 07, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Nob Hill is the best place to ship in milpitas - customer service is 100% - they have the freshest produce better than Safeway and I live near there. I am really sad they are closing. I really hope the city does not build more housing and I hope this location does not turn into another Asian store either. PLEASE bring Trader Joes to MILPITAS.
Dan Manassau March 07, 2012 at 05:37 AM
I am one of the folks (Milpitans For Compatible Land Development) who opposed the shopping center back in the mid 1980,s. We bought our homes new from Shappell who promised that homes would be built on the site not commercial. When the land around was builtout they got their cronies on the council to change the zoning so they could make more profit. We mobilized our neightborhood, collected the signatures and forced a special election on the rezoning decision. Shappell out spent us on the election about $125,000 to about $3,500 and won the election by only 300 votes. The council and their cronies won. We did not have a problem with Nob Hill. I was concerned that the traffic was not sufficient to make it profitable long term and that after 20 years or so it would get run down and become a blight to our neighborhood. I am glad 24 hour fitness has moved in and is a nice business, but I am still concerned. My wife would like to see a fabric store. It is still a bum location for large retail and always will be. We are sorry to see Nob Hill leave, but I still wish we had gotten 301 more votes.
Sifu Paddler March 07, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Folks may remember that the current Nob Hill is actually their second store in Milpitas. The first Nob Hill just stradled the border with San Jose on North Capital Avenue. Even then they were known for their customer service. Clerks taking your cart and loading the groceries into your car without asking was novel at the time. Before the whole MMA craze, Tony Thompson's dojang trained many young Milpitas and San Jose people in the art of Tae Kwon Do. His dojang was located a few doors down from the old Nob Hill and would later be part of the Reyes' family martial arts empire. After class, parents would do their shopping at Nob Hill. Back to the present, there may be a chance to help the current Nob Hill out. Simply let Raley's know how much Nob Hill means to the community. Albeit its a small chance, but hopefully has the words in the right combination to help make a difference. Speaking with a group of MHS students over the weekend, apart from the usual indifference to other subjects, the sharing of the Nob Hill closing was met with a unified "what? oh no!". I can't beat a reaction of disappointment like that.
Sifu Paddler March 07, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Thanks Dan. As much as Milpitas has grown over the years, its important that people know its history. Granted Nob Hill isn't as sexy as the historic adobes, it does set a precedence of the unabated development that is rampant throughout the city. I would've just settled for the orchard myself.
Jen O. March 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I completely agree with you. While safeway has a larger selection, the quality of the meat, produce and the customer service is why I shop at Nob Hill. They have a family friendly line where they give my son stickers when we go shopping together. The people are very friendly and I am very sad to see the store close. I only hope a store such as a Whole Foods replaces it. Milpitas already has enough Asian stores and while I shop at Ranch market for the specialty items I can't find at Nob Hill, a health style store is what Milpitas lacks. I would never shop at Wal Mart for food because their quality is lower and they don't offer different options such as sugar free or low fat versions of items. Can't the city council entice grocery retailers like Sprouts, Whole Foods or Trader Joes to take up residence in Milpitas? The Nob Hill location would be a perfect site next to the 24 Hour Fitness. Milpitas residents NEED a place to shop INSIDE of the city where thoes of us who care about the quality of food we eat and feed to our kids is available.
Gloria M. Orange March 08, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I just learned of the closing of Nob Hill and I'm so sadden with this news, as they have the best Customer service, outdoing most stores in Milpitas. They go beyond their call of duty to always satisfy a customer. Every one of their clerks regardless if they are working at the registers or on the floor or wherever, they are always so obliging to help their customers. So sorry to see them go. A 50 year resident of Milpitas.
karen March 10, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Good idea, Sifu Paddler. Here is a link to Raleys to tell them how disappointed we are at the closing of NobHill. http://www.raleys.com/cfapps/contact/contact.cfm Or find the "contact us" at raleys.com
ekc March 10, 2012 at 08:50 PM
the super customer service, safety of parking lot, friendly staff members, wide aisles, best produce, and much more...Safeway can't compete...the parking lot is a war zone of small parking spaces, crazy drivers and free rolling shopping carts...that's why we've been loyal nob hill shoppers since they opened up...just like Mervyn's another good retail store bites the dust in Milpitas.
Norm March 10, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Excellent points. At the top of the list is the almighty dollar. Importance to the community? Way down the list somewhere. I think it could support a TJ's if people came from all around to shop there.
Norm March 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Hmmm. Developers' cronies on the City Council? Shirley, you can't be serious :)
Vincent Yu July 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I shopped at Nob Hill for many years and I am Asian. I also shop at Ranch 99, Safeway and Marina Grocery. Most of my shopping is Asian-oriented as you might imagine but other groceries that I can't find find in an Asian store, I can find at Nob Hill. It is (or was) a great place to shop and I am sad to see it (and Save Mart) go. One place I've never shopped for groceries at is Wal-Mart. If folks want to shop there for lower prices, more power to them. I just have a low opinion of bottom-feeders like Wal-Mart, though, which is why I don't go. Wal-Mart is a big reason why we are now outsourcing manufacturing to China and why the US economy is in decline. If you want to contribute to the massive wealth of the Walton family, that is your choice.
Summer Hemphill July 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Grocery stores don't care about the needs of their customers,the only thing they care about is maximizing their profits. WalMart's non-union stores lead to the loss of jobs with decent pay & benefits in every community where they open a new location. Those who patronize these non-union big box discount stores lower the standard of living for their entire community & have no one to blame but themselves for another union grocery store chain pulling out of town ! Unionizing WalMart would be a step in the right direction,but Republicans in Congress continue to thwart needed labor law reforms concerning the rights of non-union employess to join a union (card-check etc.). WalMart employees comprise an overwhelming amount of the working poor in this country,it's part of their cradle to the grave minimum wage & no benefits program to maximize profits for the Walton family !
Guy July 10, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Reports of Nob Hill's demise are premature. They have been told by Raley's HQ that they can expect to close in August 2013 -- a year and a month from now -- when the current lease ends. Since SaveMart closed, I bet their sales have increased. Oh, I've had my issues with them from time to time..... products (2# loaf of Kraft Deluxe American cheese) that we want and were available in Milpitas nowhere besides Nob Hill and their Sacramento masters cancel them. The lovely fresh fruits being too large (I want MEDIUM-sized Granny Smith apples, MEDIUM sized baking potatoes, etc). Our favorite flavor of Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt no longer being stocked (turns out that Dannon apparently ceased production of that flavor). But their deli is excellent, their meat department is excellent, and their checkers are friendly and helpful.
JJ January 01, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Very sad to hear that Nob Hill will be closing, I have been shopping there for 28 years. Everyone that works at Nob Hill are extremely friendly. If it has to close, I would love to see a Trader Joe's, so I don't have to drive to Fremont or Coleman Ave. What I don't want is another Asian or Indian Market, nor would I shop at Walmart. There are way to many Asian markets and the Grocery Outlets. There are ethnic's other than Asian or Persian.
JJ January 01, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Wow really...not all of us want to shop at smelly seafood markets that aren't clean. Those of us who choose Nob Hill is due to the friendliness, and choose not to shop where there are snobs that don't speak english and are rude. The workers at Nob Hill are nice to everyone!
Janet February 24, 2013 at 12:34 AM
I hope this isn't true! Nob Hill is my favorite grocery store and I choose to shop here instead of all the other options. The people are wonderfully friendly with great customer service making this a great shopping experience. Love all the organic and choices. Will hope this decision is reversed or a very bad rumor!!
Anji McBride May 22, 2013 at 07:53 PM
It makes sense for them to be leaving. It's true they do have the best products, unfortunately they also have the prices to prove it. Not all of us are living on “Nob Hill” so to speak, alot of Californian's are unemployed and trying everything they can think of to fix that and having little success. I don't like the way Walmart runs it's company but they do have the best prices and my family needs to eat. I was a loyal customer of Nob Hill for a very long time and it saddens me that I can't afford to shop there anymore, but like I said, not all of us are making enough that we can afford to shop there anymore. It's only the comfortable and the wealthy that think the recession is over or in retreat, the rest of us know that it's a Depression not a recession and it's only getting worse. Until we are paid more and taxed less, and until steps are taken to improve fair hiring policies, the situation will continue to get worse and worse.
Anji McBride May 22, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Because the media stops talking about something, surprise, doesn't make it go away.

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