At Tuesday's 99 Ranch Market grand opening, the scene was slightly chaotic. Open parking spaces were hard to come by at the Rose Pavillion, and shoppers flowed in and out of the store.
The opening of 99 Ranch Market, closure of Nob Hill Foods and potential development of other stores in the city is part of a recent shift in the grocery landscape. Over the years the type of stores in Pleasanton had remained fairly stable, with a combination of large national stores such as Safeway and locally-owned stores such as Sacramento-based Raley's.
Pam Ott, director of the city's Economic Development Department, said there are different reasons for the more recent changes.
"Some of those might be based on the economy," she said. "There might have been changes or a shift in what it is people are looking for."
99 Ranch, which has 12 locations in Northern California, largely carries Asian foods but is also trying to market itself to others outside of the Asian American community. Inside the building, customers can sit down and have meals in a hot deli and bakery section. The store also features a large produce and seafoods sections.
Still, Teddy Chow, marketing manager for the 99 Ranch Market company said he doesn't expect competition will be a problem.
"I think the population is big enough to support more retail businesses," said Chow.
Residents who came to the 99 Ranch Market store on Tuesday to shop and to look around said they liked what they saw.
"I'm glad for this shopping center," said Larry Bourland. "This is a nice anchor store."
The opening of 99 Ranch Market comes on the heels of another grocery store closing shop. A few blocks down Santa Rita Road, the parking lot in front of what used to be Nob Hill Foods, was empty.
Those who used to shop at Nob Hill Foods said they look forward to having a new grocery store in their neighborhood.
Rickey Juarez, a Pleasanton resident who lives a few blocks away from both stores, said he used to shop at Nob Hill and had to switch to other stores when it closed.
Juarez said he looks forward to the variety of foods the new 99 Ranch carries.
"That [Nob Hill Foods] was convenience," he said. "This [99 Ranch] is even better."
Over at Gene's Fine Foods, an independent grocery store, just over two miles away from Nob Hill, the impact of the closure has been a positive one.
Scott Whitten, the store's manager, said he's seen an increase in the number of customers since Nob Hill closed. He said the store's product orders have been larger in the past few weeks.
"The economy too is getting better, but with [Nob Hill Foods] closing, we've had customers from there come here," he said.
Whitten said these new shoppers are more likely ones who avoid shopping at larger chain stores such as Safeway, Lucky Supermarket or Trader Joe's.
"It's been kind of nice in the last few weeks," he said. "It could always be better, though."
Ott said that closing grocery stores are sometimes tough for residents.
"That could be a difficult shift for people," she said.
Maria Groves, a Pleasanton resident who shops at a combination of stores including Gene's Fine Foods and Safeway, agrees.
"I'm pretty set on my ways," she said.
Whitten, who has been at Gene's since its opening in 1989, said there's always been a variety of stores available in Pleasanton.
There are also more plans for other stores to set shop in town. Safeway, has plans to build at Bernal Avenue and Valley Avenue. The project is now in the city's Planning Commission approval process.
Meanwhile, a British-based company, Fresh and Easy, is also planning to open a store at the Rose Pavilion. The company has had to delay some of its store openings in Northern California this year.
But Ott said the Pleasanton store will be part of the company's next phase of openings either in November this year or February 2011.
"The cities' goal is to provide a variety of of shopping options that meet the needs of residents and provides convenience," said Ott.