New Kroger opens at former Kmart site

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 20, 2016

 Workers move around the floor of the new Kroger on 13 Mile Road and Flora in Roseville Jan. 14 to prepare for its opening.

Workers move around the floor of the new Kroger on 13 Mile Road and Flora in Roseville Jan. 14 to prepare for its opening.

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ROSEVILLE — Fourteen months after the project gained Roseville City Council approval, the Kroger store on 13 Mile Road near Little Mack Avenue was scheduled to open Jan. 17 — after this story went to press.

Ken McClure, customer communications manager with Kroger, said the new store will employ 300 people to start, a number of whom transferred from the closing St. Clair Shores store at 13 Mile and Harper Avenue. A number of employees were being trained to work with the store’s new features, which are not necessarily common to other Kroger stores.

McClure said the new store is 95,000 square feet — larger than a standard Kroger store. A lot of that additional space is taken up with a kitchen equipment supply area and wider lanes throughout the entire store.

“You could have two carts stopped on either side while customers are looking at merchandise and still fit a third cart through the middle,” McClure said.

Work on the Kroger site began after city approval in November 2014, during which time the old Kmart building was torn down and the Kroger constructed through 2015.

Ed Boutrous, CEO of Boutrous Development Corporation, told C&G Newspapers in December that there had been no issues “out of the ordinary” with construction, and that they were starting the process of adding fixtures to the building.

“Fixturing is like a 60-day process, and then after that it takes probably a month or so to stock and train employees and that kind of thing,” Boutrous said last month.

McClure said they had started stocking the store with non-food items earlier in the month, and food items started to hit shelves Jan. 13.

The store is Energy Star certified, he said, and uses energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration. The freezers and refrigerators are hooked to a network that can alert staff if the temperature of one is exceeding its set threshold, which is a more efficient method of finding faults than patrolling the store every few hours, McClure said.

Other technological aspects of the new Kroger will include the Click List, a service that the store will be rolling out Feb. 3. McClure said that shoppers can put in their orders online for everything they want to buy for their shopping trips, and staff members will go forth, collect the goods, and set them aside. Once the customers arrive, they can park in dedicated spaces, call a number listed in the parking lot, and have their groceries brought out by the store’s staff.

The store also will have a deli order terminal in case there is a line at the counter, McClure said, so a person can put in an order and get a designated time to come back and pick it up.

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