Driving home late in the morning on Christmas Eve, there was a postal service truck delivering items along Foothill Road. UPS and FedEx were wrapped for the long holiday weekend, but there was a carrier delivering packages.
Incidentally, I was baffled this month when a non-uniformed man, driving a private car with no signage, delivered a package I had ordered earlier that week from Amazon.
According to news reports today, retailers are enjoying a robust holiday season, likely buoyed by the perfect calendar for maximum shopping days that included a very early Thanksgiving and five full shopping weekends.
As a consumer who enjoys wine and spirits, I have been delighted to see Total Wine come into the valley with stores in Pleasanton and San Ramon. The family-owned superstore opened one of its first retail outlets in Pleasant Hill almost in the shadow of the headquarters of BevMo, which has owned that specialty in the Bay Area for years. Of course, Safeway and Costco are the leading purveyors of wine and spirits in Northern California.
The Total Wine managers took direct aim at BevMo and have run numerous ads and sent mail pieces with side-by-side price comparisons. Those comparisons also are throughout the store.
Naturally, BevMo has responded with its own increased advertising.
The unexpected consumer benefit is that Costco also has responded without fanfare. I found several items that I often purchase at new low prices when I was in the Livermore store recently. We have observed the price differentials when we have shopped in the Costco stores in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage, but it was welcome to see it in our local stores.
Competition in the marketplace is good for consumers