Kroger Superstores

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Kroger472
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Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 11 Sep 2008 18:42

Does anyone here have any idea how many Kroger Superstore design stores still remain in use by the company?
I've attached a photo of a superstore in Ann Arbor MI, that opened on 3-1-73 and is still open although it may close in 2009. It is 25,872 square feet which seems small compared to the other superstores I've been in. What size range did superstores have? The building to the left actually ends 50 or 60 feet beyond the edge of the store and goes around the corner forming a "U" with a pedestrian area in the middle of the "U". It has been updated with Millenium decor package. When is this decor package from? The store has no meat or seafood counter (removed mid-late 1980's) and one of the produce coolers was removed and replaced with a bottle room (1996 or 97). It is the last thing left in this mall now. This is the first Kroger I ever worked in.
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Last edited by Kroger472 on 07 Aug 2009 02:50, edited 1 time in total.

rich
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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by rich » 11 Sep 2008 18:58

My recollection was that the superstores ranged in size from 26-32K sf. This store is around the size of the stores Kroger typically built before they went into superstores. One of the last pre-superstore locations in the Cleveland era was near where I grew-up and it was expanded to 30K sf around 1973.

My guess is that this store was planned before they began rolling out the superstores and Kroger was locked into the lease agreement and never felt justified enlarging the store. Outside of some small town locations in Ohio & WVa and an occasional urban location, there are very few Krogers even close to this size still in operation.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by robdude » 11 Sep 2008 23:29

I've seen this store before and it is a bit different outside than the usual supercenter design- the sign is in a different place and also I seem to remember it having some gold colored trim I never saw on another supercenter. As for the size, I don't think the Toledo North Summit Street supercenter was any bigger if at all; that store was quite small. (It closed a few years ago- a new store opened around Ottawa River and Suder replacing this store and Benore/Suder, a former Food Town.)

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Andrew T.
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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Andrew T. » 12 Sep 2008 02:59

Hi Kroger472 (Are there a lot of Kroger fans here, or is it just me?),

It's probably hard to get a good estimate of just how many Superstores still persist in operation. In some places (like West Virginia), I'd estimate that there are as few as three closed or former Superstores for every open one. In other places, the store turnover is bound to be higher. And regardless of where they are, a fair number of still-extant Superstores have been renovated; some beyond recognition.

As for the decor question: It sounds like the Packard St., Ann Arbor store has the so-called "millennium" decor package from the late '90s and early '00s, which dates back roughly to around the time of the Fred Meyer acquisition. It's neither old nor uncommon, unfortunately...

Just for fun, I checked out the Ann Arbor location on some aerial imagery, and the footprint looks like it's actually about the same size as a "normal" Superstore.

The late Summit St., Toledo store (here's its aerial image) does look slightly smaller than a typical Superstore. Judging by how the storefront juts out from the rest of the shopping center, how the brick facing lacks vertical channels, and how the roofing has the appearance of different sections of application, I have a good feeling that it was a frontward expansion and renovation of a pre-Superstore location.
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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 12 Sep 2008 16:11

Just to make sure we're thinking the same thing, the store only takes up to where the building juts out in the back there the entire building is not the superstore... I wish you could see the open area in the middle better it would give a better idea as to the size... Only the left part of this structure minus a 100ft. wide strip is the superstore. Also how many aisles did superstores normally have? I Just looked at the city of Ann Arbor web site and the store is listed in the redevelopment plans as on record at 18,170 Sq. Ft.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by dooneyt63 » 12 Sep 2008 19:34

There is a Kroger superstore still operating in Pearl, MS, a suburb of Jackson. It has had some exterior paint changes and interior updates but is still the basic superstore. It has been slated for replacement but seems to be in a "holding" pattern. There is a nearby very up-to-date store. Kroger is very aggressive in the Jackson metro area, being the only national grocery chain present. Their long-time I-55 North store, which started life as a superstore has taken over roughly half of the shopping plaza it occupies and has recently been completely remodeled inside and out. Another superstore building still exists largely unaltered on Jackson's West Northside Drive. It hasn't been Kroger for years, but several independents have tried to operate there. It is fairly well-preserved as of the last time I saw it.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by krogerclerk » 12 Sep 2008 21:46

The millenium decor is not my favorite by far. But it seems to have been rolled out with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the Ralphs decor that has been adopted is out of place in the scale of most Kroger stores and has not translated well in the Kroger and other banners it's been used. While the greenhouse baushaus decor and rustic superstore decor are dated today, they reflected well the times they were used. The grid/neon package reflected the optimistic mood of the late 80's. The millenium and Ralphs decor just doesn't seem very imaginitve or flattering to most stores.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 15 Sep 2008 17:01

A couple of things I thought of:
What was the range in number of aisles in superstores?
Has anyone seen any other left entrance superstores besides this one. ie; moving left to right counterclockwise around the store? All the ones I've seen other than this one had the entrance in the right corner and the movement was clockwise.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by rich » 16 Sep 2008 20:26

The Summit Street/Toldeo-Point Place store began as a pre-superstore location.

The left entrance arrangement was pretty common among pre-superstore Krogers and another indication that this was a pre-superstore that got some cosmetic superstore touches.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by wnetmacman » 16 Sep 2008 20:35

The left entrance arrangement was pretty common among pre-superstore Krogers and another indication that this was a pre-superstore that got some cosmetic superstore touches.
I would be inclined to agree with this. There was a superstore-looking Kroger in Longview, TX with the left entrance. If you saw it without the entrance, you'd think it was never a Kroger, but inside it was all superstore. This store consolidated with Longview's Kroger Family Center in 1983.
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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 16 Sep 2008 21:16

What might make this odd is that it was opened in the superstore era (3-1-73) although I think somebody else mentioned it might have been planned pre-superstore.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by robdude » 19 Sep 2008 17:47

I just looked at the tch546.tripod.com/smkt/kroco.html page and the Point Place store has a right side entrance like other superstores. It does however have a different sign. Further down the page the South Boulevard/Squirrel superstore (Bloomfield if I remember) has a left entrance, probably because of the way the shopping center was built. Here's a real question, though. Know of any other center entrance stores besides the one in Sterling Heights? I've never seen another.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 20 Sep 2008 03:14

Center and left entrance stores seem to be in the minority of those that were built.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Groceteria » 15 Feb 2009 18:35

This is one of my favorite stores, in Galax VA, and seems to date from early to mid 1960s. Sometime during the superstore era, it apparently got an interior and exterior makeover. You can see this in the remnants of the arched entryway and the brown brick that are still there, and in the brick floor pattern. The interior layout shows that it most definitely did not start out as a superstore; it's wide and shallow, with only one row of aisles, but the fact that they redid the floor suggests it probably got a pretty intensive "superstore" remodeling in the 1970s, perhaps even with an expansion. And it still sports an intact version of the fast disappearing 1990s "grid" interior, which makes it even more interesting. A real museum, this one.

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Re: Kroger Superstores

Post by Kroger472 » 07 Aug 2009 01:07

The Ann Arbor Superstore is closing 9/12/2009, and for the record is officially 25,872 Sq. Ft. 36 Years is a nice run.

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