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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flagship urban Kroger at The Banks?

Local NBC affiliate, WLWT Channel 5, reported last week that the developers of The Banks are planning to release names of tenants later this year. Three tenants in particular that they did mention that they are in negotiations with are an ESPN Zone, Margaritaville, and Kroger.

ESPN Zone and Margaritaville don't surprise me all that much...Kroger on the other hand is a pleasant surprise and gets my thoughts stirring about what they could do with an urban store in a newly constructed building in the very city they call home.

What I expect is for Kroger to step up and do something truly special. Something that incorporates all of their best store features and incorporates them into an urban model. A store that could become their flagship urban grocery store - an area in which Kroger doesn't seem to venture too often, but one that they might want to start considering (see gas prices).

I'm thinking of a store that has lots of international foods, organic products, and generally fits with an "urban lifestyle" for those who may be buying in smaller quantities but at greater frequencies. Could there be a better location, time, and/or opportunity? I don't think so.

Urban Kroger location (GoogleMap) in Atlanta, GA - Photos by Randy Simes


Jason said...

Wow, this would be great for downtown. A grocery store like this coupled with easy access to the streetcar system would make living in downtown Cincinnati irresistible for so many more people. Please Kroger's do this!

5chw4r7z said...

Now Park+Vine will need to start carring folding shopping carts.

Quimbob said...

This shouldn't come as a surprise. I do hope efforts are made (city, Kroger & Carter) to put the store on the streetcar line.

Paul Benson said...

They could use the same store format for the Urban Store they are remodeling in Columbus.

John Bronson said...

Now that is pretty awesome. I've seen Wal-Marts in other countries with elongated escalators and large elevators for carts.

How do people go to the second level at this Atlanta Kroger's, besides the (small) elevator? Escalator?

Randy Simes said...

No escalator at this store...although I have seen Target and others use escalators with parallel shopping cart escalators (or just really large single escalators).

This is an older store that was in place before much of those shopping cart escalators came about. This Midtown Atlanta Kroger's second floor is also quite small with the more boutique things on the second level (i.e. Pharmacy) a shopping cart isn't really needed up there if you plan your shopping accordingly.

Unknown said...

This has to happen.

I don't see how the developers could let Kroger slip through their fingers to be an anchor tenant for the development. It's too perfect.

Crossing my fingers....

VisuaLingual said...

Randy, you described Findlay Market perfectly!

Anonymous said...

why the fascination with Kroger? As a downtown resident I never shop at kroger, I get most of my groceries at findlay or other market, with supplements from wild oats.

Kroger has an outdated selection and is built for the suburban drolls that currently shop at its stores.

I would rather see the city do something to encourage a cooperative or private grocer like what was done in dallas.

Randy Simes said...

^The focus is on Kroger because they are the country's largest grocery company, one of the largest retail companies, and they're based right here in Cincinnati.

This is an opportunity for Kroger to step up and improve themselves by creating an urban store model that is better than what we are all used to.

Anonymous said...

I'd much rather there be a Trader Joe's downtown. In fact, I wrote them and told them yesterday! While it is a Cincinnati company, Kroger has done nothing for their OTR location. If it has to be a traditional grocery store, I'd much rather it be a Bigg's. Trader Joe's downtown would be amazing though - and frankly, a grocery store at the Banks is something, but not enough. We should have a grocery store DOWNTOWN, not at the Banks. To me they are very different.

Randy Simes said...

^That is exactly my point...up until this point Kroger hasn't really done much to make their urban locations something to be proud of. This is an opportunity for them to do something different - something better.

I too would like to see a Trader Joe's or something of that nature open Downtown...there are a couple of problems though. One is that there really aren't any readily available spaces that they could use (most of the surface lots aren't going anywhere anytime soon). So that leaves The Banks (which I consider to be a part of Downtown) and it sounds like the developers are in negotiations with Kroger.

As much as I would like a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or heck even a Publix the fact is that they don't seem to be interested at this point in time. So we should work with what we've got and demand the best possible end product.

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