Grocery giant Kroger today unveiled its largest Richmond store and plans for an aggressive expansion strategy.
In addition to launching a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace in the old Cloverleaf Mall at Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway, the grocery chain is working on its next local store.
Jay Cummins, Kroger’s president for the Mid-Atlantic region, said the company plans to build a second Kroger Marketplace at Staples Mill and Hungary Springs roads in Henrico County.
Kroger has invested $151 million in the region, remodeling several stores, including at Carytown and Willow Lawn, and building stores at Short Pump and the former Cloverleaf site, now known as Stonebridge. Cummins said that the Midlothian store is “the culmination of that effort” and that the company is entering a new phase in its plans for the Richmond area.
“We want to open two stores a year until the company stops giving us the capital,” Cummins said.
The new Henrico store will cost the company between $20 million and $23 million, and construction should be underway by the middle of next year. It will be the same size as the Midlothian store and should be open in 2014.
The store will be the anchor of a new shopping center called Staples Mill Marketplace, which Marchetti Properties is developing. Marchetti also developed the Target-anchored shopping center across the street and the Shops at Stonehenge, also off Midlothian Turnpike.
According to a flyer on the Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer website, the shopping center will be almost 300,000 square feet, including five outparcels and 25,000 square feet of retail for lease.
Kroger’s “Marketplace” stores feature 30,000 square feet of non-grocery goods, such as chairs, bedding, kitchen supplies and furniture. Kroger spokesperson Carl York said the prices are set to compete with chains such as HomeGoods.
The Midlothian store, which will have about 300 employees, is part of the Stonebridge development, spearheaded by shopping center developer Crosland Southeast. The firm’s website advertises the development as a two-phase, 400,000-square-foot complex with almost 200,000 square feet of additional retail and 350 apartments. Atlanta-based Collins and Arnold is the general contractor for the new store.
Cummins said Kroger is bullish on the Richmond area.
“This region has always given us some of our best return on investment,” he said.
According to the latest market share reports in the grocery trade publication Food World, Kroger had a slight year-over-year rise in market share in Richmond last year but still hangs around 12 percent.