The state's newest Carrs|Safeway opened in mid-November 2019; while it remains located in the (newly rebranded) Midtown Mall in Anchorage, it moved from the west side of the mall to the east. The renovated space is bright, open, and features a full-service ramen bar, full-service poke bar, and Wok-UR-Way, in addition to a Kaladi Brothers location.
Carrs|Safeway Alaska General Manager Reino Bellio says that, against a nationwide trend of struggling retail brands, the company has long-term plans for operations in Alaska. "We have been here for a long time," Bellio says.
In fact, back in 1915, a year before Anchorage's founding and more than forty years before Alaska became a state, J.B. Gottstein was supplying groceries and other supplies to Alaskans. Larry Carr opened his first grocery location in 1950. By the mid '70s the two grocers merged to form, at the time, the state's largest retail chain and further cemented their legacy. According to Carrs|Safeway, following that merger, "60 percent of the entire Alaskan population lived within three miles of a Carrs store." In 1990 the company was purchased by an employee ownership group, and then it was acquired by Safeway in 1999, which was followed by its acquisition in 2014 that made Carrs|Safeway part of the Albertsons family of stores.
In the Community
With more than 100 years operating in the Last Frontier, twenty-eight stores and two warehouses in Alaska, and more than 2,600 Alaskan employees, Carrs|Safeway knows what it takes to provide the goods and services that Alaskans need. And over the years Carrs|Safeway has become part of many Alaskan communities; Bellio says the company has a presence across the state, with more locations outside of Anchorage than within it.
And its positive influence spreads even beyond that. Carrs|Safeway provides Teacher Grants to schools across the state. Over the past three years, the company has donated $600,000, including $200,000 last year in the form of forty $5,000 grants.
Teachers apply for the grants, which can be used for equipment, software, and supplies; books; expenses associated with field trips for students; professional development courses, seminars, and workshops; or travel expenses related to professional development or bringing in outside experts, Bellio points out any teacher in Alaska can apply for one of the grants, not just those in communities with a Carrs|Safeway location, allowing the company to support education throughout Alaska...