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.
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.