Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kroger Going on the Offensive in Decatur

Kroger is getting a lot bigger ...

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger, which last week ended its policy of doubling manufacturer coupons, will soon begin a massive expansion of  their North Decatur Square store.  The site, now home to the  shopping center, as well as a number of outparcels and hundreds of adjacent apartments, was previously home to a Kraft Foods plant that closed in the 1990s.  The Kroger store, which relocated over ten years ago from a nearby center known today as Patel Plaza, is currently 63,419 square feet, but will swell to over 110,000 square feet after the expansion.  (The sales floor space will be roughly 70% of the total building.)
Recent site plan showing existing layout but with many now relocated tenants 

Located at the corner of North Decatur Road and DeKalb Industrial Way, North Decatur Square is less than a mile from Suburban Plaza, where, barring any additional legal hurdles, Selig Enterprises will soon build a 149,000 square foot Walmart Supercenter. Clearly Kroger's expansion is a defensive measure to better compete with Walmart's inevitable opening.

Kroger's expansion is expected to take 14 months to complete, and will include taking over all of the (now closed or relocated) retail space to the left of their store, and two spaces, Dollar Tree and H&R Block, to Kroger's right.
Current Dollar Tree and former of H&R Block  that has since relocated to another unaffected portion of the center

Currently, Dollar Tree is the only affected business that remains open.  Sources say that they will be last to close, and that work is expected to begin on the already vacant space within 90 days.
The nine storefronts that today sit vacant in preparation for Kroger's expansion

A local source tells me that the Dollar Tree will relocate to an as yet unbuilt (likely freestanding) location to the left of Kroger, near what will be Kroger's relocated pharmacy.  The Dollar Tree store measures 4000 square feet today, about half the size of a typical Dollar Tree, and will likely be about the same size when relocated.


Likely future home of Kroger  Drive-Thru pharmacy and new freestanding Dollar Tree

The expanded Kroger will include a new and relocated pharmacy (moving to the front left, where Spin Cycle laundry was) that will feature a drive-thru.  Other expanded offerings will include a Starbucks twice the size of the current one, a doubled natural foods section, relocated bank, additional self check out lanes, and a number of individual department expansions. The store will also increase school supplies merchandise as well as kitchen accessories offerings.

The Kroger store will also add two new gas pumps, bringing its total to 12.  The gas pump addition will reportedly require the entire station to be closed for four months.

Kroger recently opened their first Georgia Marketplace store in Carrollton.  The store was completed in phases and will reportedly celebrate their Grand Opening October 16th.   Kroger Marketplace is similar to Fred Meyer, a Kroger owned company on the west coast similar in size to a Walmart.  The Carrollton store was expanded from what was a dated, "Greenhouse" Kroger, and now measures 125,000 square feet. The typical Walmart Supercenter is at least 125,000 square feet, often larger.

Kroger Marketplace stores feature furniture, an entire aisle of toys, appliances, office items, baby products like car seats and even a (Fred Meyer) jewelry store.
Kroger Marketplace in Carrollton 

The Kroger Marketplace store in Carrollton is thus far the only store of its kind in Georgia, but I'm told others are in the works for Athens and Gainesville.  The Gainesville store will anchor New Holland Market at the intersection of Jesse Jewell and Limestone Parkways and is expected to open next spring.  I have thus far been unable to pin down an exact location for the Athens location.

My source went on to say that while Georgia may see a "few more" Marketplace stores, it's likely they will all be in the suburbs: OTP.

The currently expanding and renovating Kroger at Cherokee Plaza in Brookhaven is now just shy of 82,000 square feet.  The store is in the final stages of their remodel and should officially reopen around Thanksgiving.  The store originally opened as an A&P in 1982, with 23,000 square feet.  The store was razed and rebuilt in 1997 and became a 56,000 "flagship" for the now nearly defunct grocery chain.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please note that although the tag line (and likely the post office) use "Decatur" as the location of this store, it is not in fact inside the city limits. The City of Decatur has its very own Kroger, in downtown Decatur near the cemetery. I was surely excited when I thought *that* Kroger was getting a facelift...

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Yes, I do realize that and apologize if I wrongly excited you in my title. The location perhaps fits better in the "greater Decatur" are but that woulda been weird in the title. Given the actual Decatur Kroger is so small and has already been converted from A&P and Harris Teeter, I doubt much else is done. The building looks like the Harris Teeters of Atlanta and is quite small, but I don't think Kroger could justify the financial outlay given what it likely pulls in and the limitations in parking and square footage they likely have.

Thanks as always for your readership and comments.

Carl Black said...

Exactly, Anonymous! This is 30033. Although, there have been talks of eventually incorporating this area. If only they could figure out how to hire enough cops to cover the strip club and all of its shenanigans.

Would be nice if they'd add diesel at this Fuel Center.

Atlantan99 said...

@Carl Black,

Something told me I'd see a comment from you here sooner rather than later. I know, I know, not officially in the city of Decatur. DeKalb Farmers Market is not either I don't believe but hey, people love Decatur, so given they are both near, Decatur is the city to describe their location.

Let's call these businesses in "Greater Decatur."

Thanks as always for defending the city limits and for your continued readership.

Carl Black said...

Also, this expansion gives a whole new meaning to the phrase many Decaturites use to refer to this location: Big Kroger.

Atlantan99 said...

@Carl,

LOL. I visited the new Marketplace in Carrollton. That store is HUGE and is actually maybe a little too big. Word is many in the area find the store too overwhelming and are not fans of the fact that they must traverse a store stocked with so much more than they need or want. Let Walmart be Walmart, let Kroger sell groceries.

Carl Black said...

HA! Defending...the Battle of Decatur. :)

YDFM is in Scottdale, so I don't think there's any confusion there, but then again I've heard of those who reference the "Decatur Farmers Market" who haven't actually been there; they're referring to YDFM.

Atlantan99 said...

@Carl,

You say that, but type in "Your DeKalb Farmers Market" in Google and look at where it seems to be located... ;)

Forget #DefendTheDome ... #DefendTheDEC

Anonymous said...

It may not be CoD (incorporated) but it is most definitely Decatur.

AJ said...

Us folks in unincorporated areas need a city too :-)

My address says Atlanta. Most assume it's Marietta. One furniture store said it was the city of Cumberland! Well there's no such thing. Nor is there a cit of East Cobb or a city of Wildwood. I need to address my mail in some way, so Atlanta it is. Just like Kroger needs a city, so it's Decatur.

SB said...

Excellent reporting Eli. I can add that I believe there's a Kroger Marketplace under development near Knoxville and I think near Savannah but I'm not 100% sure.

Anonymous said...

It's always such a travesty when someone confuses unincorporated DeKalb with "inside the city limits of precious, precious Decatur." So glad we have folks around here to clear that up.

Glen said...

SB the one in Savannah is supposed to be HUGE. The one that it is replacing was also very large. I remember when it first opened up over 30 years ago. I was in high school and living in Savannah. Don't know if it will be a MArketplace or Super Kroger or whatever. They just got a Whole Foods down there last month. Not sure how they will handle this humongous supermarket. http://savannahnow.com/exchange/2012-06-17/big-plans-mall-blvd-shopping-center#.UkNiFUPD_Dc

Anonymous said...

Decatur does not JUST include COD. Don't be snobby. Decatur addresses run all the way from Oak Grove to *gasp* the other side of Memorial Drive. Yes, that's right. Your precious "Decatur" includes this Kroger, as well as the evil Memorial Drive Walmart.

Glad to see this expansion.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh. As a guy who grew up across the street from Agnes Scott (in "real" Decatur), it's too funny to see you guys going bananas about him calling unincorporated Dekalb "Decatur". Who cares? What whiny snobs we've become.

Anonymous said...

The enlarging of the store is great news. It is a commercial area. There should be no alarm here.

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior citizen and arthritic, walk with a cane. The riding carts are too slow for my taste, but the present Kroger is about the max I can do to walk around and buy my groceries. The riding carts often are out of "juice" on Wednesdays the senior discount day. If the new store is even bigger, I may have to shop elsewhere and drive farther. If they want to keep my business they need to institute a grocery delivery service. It can be done profitably. I already have my produce delivered to my door by a wonderful service called Natures Garden Delivered. With the graying of the population, retailers need to rethink the huge megastores or they will drive us all more and more away from the bricks-and-mortar retail locations to on-line shopping. YES, let Walmart be Walmart. I have one five minutes from me that I REFUSE to USE because of their unfair employment and worker management policies.

Anonymous said...

I live in Avondale Estates, close to Walmart, but won't use it because of the panhandling in the parking lot AND inside the store. It isn't easy to get in and out for a quick pick-up - and I don't appreciate their corporate mega take-over philosophy either.
The "big Kroger" has the same problem of being too big for a quick shopping need. I always head to the "little Kroger" in downtown Decatur for that. I imagine that the big expansion of the Kroger on N Decatur will make it even less likely that I'll shop there, at least most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Kroger will install electric car charging stations there, as they have at some other locations around town. The Walgreens across the street has a charger, and the Suburban Plaza / Walmart location up the road has two. Gotta keep up!

Anonymous said...

Just as "Atlanta" can refer to both the city limits of Atlanta-proper and to the great-Atlanta area, "Decatur" has a similar double-meaning. I live in unincorporated DeKalb, but my address is Decatur, and it's been on the map for 40+ years as "North Decatur." Old-school atlases mark the 30033 as "North Decatur." It may not be City of Decatur, but it is still Decatur. Remember a decade ago or so when y'all talked about changing the name of the City of Decatur to "Decatur City?" It was vetoed due to sounding tacky.

Mirage Sarees said...

As a former tenant of Suburban Plaza, we at Mirage Sarees are awaiting the new development. We believe that the new Walmart will not only help the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood but also strengthen the surrounding businesses. For our former customers, we have moved to 1554 Church Street Decatur, GA 30033. Check us out at www.MirageSarees.com

Anonymous said...

Personally, I shop at the N. Decatur Kroger all the time and wish it would be a "Marketplace". I find such deals for my home at this Kroger, as well as good deals on my groceries. It saves a bunch of time and money to get everything at once. And nobody cares if this is Decatur or not, just give us a decent place to shop.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I shop at the N. Decatur Kroger all the time and wish it would be a "Marketplace". I find such deals for my home at this Kroger, as well as good deals on my groceries. It saves a bunch of time and money to get everything at once. And nobody cares if this is Decatur or not, just give us a decent place to shop.

Anonymous said...

Who cares whether it's Decatur, Dekalb or whatever. I love the store on N. Decatur Road. I wish they'd become a Marketplace. I love to be able to get deals for house things as well as groceries. Can't wait to see the new version.

Anonymous said...

The new superdeluxe Kroger in Brookhaven is almost too big and this one appears to be as big if not bigger. Between the updated Dekalb Farmers Market, the new Walmart, the new Kroger, Fresh Market on N. Druid Hills and Briarcliff, Earth Fare across from the CDC, and Sprouts opening up at the corner of Cheshire Bridge and Piedmont, we are covered with grocery choices for miles.