CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here has opened its largest store ever -- a 103,000-square-foot replacement unit in this city's upscale Oakley area.
Kroger contemplates opening a slightly larger store of 104,000 square feet in Anderson, Ohio, another local suburb, probably in 2005, local sources told SN.
The 42-year-old Oakley store is located about five miles from Kroger's headquarters here. It opened in 1961, and has been through a variety of remodels and expansions over the years. Prior to the most recent expansion, the store covered 69,000 square feet. It reopened earlier this month.
Kroger officials were reluctant to discuss the store.
However, observers here told SN the Oakley location does not duplicate the Marketplace format Kroger is using at some stores in Arizona, noting that those stores have more nonfoods space than the store here.
Local sources said special features at the Oakley store include the following:
A produce department that is double the size of the section in the previous store.
An expanded organic produce section, with over 40 varieties, including 10 types of lettuce, 10 types of tomatoes, five types of cabbage and 16 different peppers.
An expanded Nature's Market section, with 4,500 organic and natural products -- reportedly the biggest natural and organic food selection in Cincinnati.
An expanded bakery/deli, with more than 50 varieties of specialty breads baked daily; display space for more than 20 ready-to-heat meals; chefs available for consultation; and an in-store cafe offering Boston Stoker premium gourmet coffee.
An expanded wine department that includes a temperature-controlled wine room offering more than 350 higher-end varieties.
An expanded selection of ready-to-cook items in the meat and seafood section.
A drive-through pharmacy kiosk and an in-store patient consultation room where pharmacists can talk one-on-one with customers.
Expanded general merchandise space to accommodate such items as lawn furniture, bookcases and computer desks, along with some more unique in-and-out promotional offerings, like electric scooters priced at $199.